15 Things You Should Never Do Drunk

By Brian Whitney 08/13/19

Texting, for example... Sober? Text away! But If you’re drunk, give your phone to someone you trust and tell them to lock it up.

man looking at phone regretting last night's drunk text
"Lose my number!" Photo by Thom Holmes on Unsplash

In certain circles there is much debate around whether life is better sober or with alcohol. Sober people have a list of reasons why their lifestyle is better, much of which center around improved health, stronger personal relationships, and a lack of legal and financial issues (and some of us didn’t have a choice). Boozehounds tend to have a simple argument: they like to party and they don’t want to stop.

Still, regardless of whether you’re imbibing or teetotal, there are some things that we can all agree need to be done sober…or else!

If you’re sober, consider this a gratitude list. If you’re not, keep this article handy so you don’t have too many amends to make the next time you have a “morning after.”

15. Posting on Social Media

There are few things worse than waking up after a long night of partying and seeing a bunch of notifications on Facebook when you don’t remember even logging in. Well actually there are a lot of things worse but we’ll get to those. Whether you left a comment that you thought was hilarious but in reality was bizarre, flirted with a stranger awkwardly over DM, made inappropriate suggestions to a married coworker, or just put up a post explaining your deepest thoughts that in the light of day make you seem like a lunatic, social media and drinking are a lethal combination.

14. Online Shopping

This is never a good idea when drinking. While that pair of $300 shoes or those trendy jeans might seem totally necessary when you’re hammered, you probably should’ve waited until morning to pay for what’s in your cart. And will that tee-shirt that says “I’m not shy, I just don’t like you” seem quite so funny in the morning? Even worse is when you shop drunk for someone else. Lock those credit cards up!

13. Having a Serious Conversation with Your Significant Other

Sometimes when you get to drinking, things about your significant other start to gnaw at you a bit. All of a sudden it seems like this very moment is the perfect time to enumerate all the different things your loved one does that bother you, that you’ve been keeping deep inside. Of course you’ll bring them up in a very respectful way, everything will go well, and it won’t turn into a childish fight. In reality, if you act on this drunken impulse, you’ll probably end up spending the night at the local Motel 6. With your cat.

12. Cooking

I know, one of the things that is so fun about being buzzed is making a snack in the middle of the night and going to town. That’s cool, just don’t use the stove. Bad things happen. The best-case scenario might be a ruined meal, but the worst involves a call to 911, and there are a lot of things in between those two extremes that aren’t good either. Get something delivered instead. Even Domino’s is better than trying to figure out how to shut off your fire alarm when you’re drunk.

11. Napping in Public

This is never a good idea when you’re drunk. If you’re sober, a little nap on the beach or on the train when you’re commuting home might be refreshing. If you’re hammered, it means one of the worst sunburns you’ve ever had, or waking up on the train 20 miles past where you were supposed to get off. And if you feel like taking a nap in a bar or at a party, that’s not a nap: you’re passing out.

10. Hooking Up with Someone New

One of the cool things about having a buzz on is you lose your inhibitions. You might see someone you like across the room and go over and talk to them, and if the vibe is right you just might end up hooking up. Wait, did I see that was one of the cool things? I was kidding, that’s one of the bad things. When you’re drunk, you don’t even know if you really do like them, and you have no idea if the vibe is right. Take a number and hook up the next day. If the vibe was truly right, it still will be. Better yet, be brave and try it sober. Otherwise you may end up in one of those awkward “what’s your name” conversations post-interlude.

9. Making a Promise 

When you’re sober, making a promise is a good thing. It shows that you’re honest and responsible, or at least trying to be. When you’re drunk, not so much. First of all, there is a good chance you aren’t even going to remember your promise; secondly, even if you do remember, there is an even better chance you were just blowing smoke. Keep your promises to yourself when you’ve been boozing. 

8. Checking Your Work Email

If you've been drinking, his one is just a hard no. I know, most of us wouldn’t check our work email when we’ve been drinking, but sometimes you might be just kicking around, half in the bag, and just want to take a quick little peak and see what’s happening at the office. If sober, this just shows you’re conscientious. If you’ve been drinking, clicking on your inbox is the same as walking through a landmine. For the love of God, close the program!

7. Dropping Knowledge

Sometimes you’re in the midst of a conversation and something comes up that you happen to know about and you feel compelled to share your knowledge. If you’re sober, knock yourself out. If you’re drunk, please don’t. Whether you want to talk about politics, what’s wrong with millennials, or the Yankees’ starting rotation, you aren’t going to sound nearly as smart as you think you will. Trust me on this one.

6. Texting Someone You’re Crushing On

Drunk or sober, you might get the urge to text someone who you have a bit of a crush on. If you’re sober, do it up. Letting someone know you’re thinking of them is usually appreciated. But if you’re drunk, give your phone to someone you trust and tell them to lock it up. You might be able to get through a few texts without a problem, but sooner or later it will become obvious that you’re wasted and you’re just going to sound dumb, or worse.

5. Flirting

Whether there’s genuine interest or you’re just enjoying yourself, flirting can be fun. There is a line, though, between coming off as someone flirtatious and fun and someone who boorish and aggressive. When you’re boozing, sometimes (okay, pretty much all the time) it can be hard to figure out where that line is. In fact, when you’re hammered, it can be hard to even tell when if your flirting is going well or poorly.

4. Confronting a Stranger

Sometimes you’re just going about your day, minding your own business, when someone you don’t know does something that irritates you. Maybe they cut in line, or are being rude to a waitress, and you want to say something to them about it. If you’re sober, go for it, and good for you. If you’re drunk and you confront a stranger, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll wind up in a viral YouTube video, and not the kind that gets you a guest spot on Ellen because you’re such a wonderful person. 

3. Picking Up the Tab

You’ve been out with friends and it’s time for the bill. Being the generous person you are, you’ve decided to pick up the tab. If you’re sober that’s cool, how nice of you. If you’re drunk it could be a big mistake. Looking at your bank statement the day after a night on the town can be terrifying. It’s cool, though, it isn’t like you needed groceries this week anyway.

2. Getting a Tattoo

This one is pretty obvious, but it needs to be said anyway. Don’t get inked up after a night of drinking. Sober people usually spend a long time figuring out what kind of tattoo they want and researching local artists with the skill to deliver the kind of work they want. Drunk people wander into some random tattoo shop on the strip and get a tribal design on their forearm because they want to seem deep. What’s actually deep is spending time thoughtfully considering what kind of tattoo you’re putting on your body.

1. Driving

Okay so seriously, don’t drink and drive. This is the one thing that everyone agrees on. If you get behind the wheel when you’ve been drinking, you’re basically an irresponsible maniac who doesn’t care about the consequences of your actions and who you hurt. So just don’t do it. If you’re drinking, be prepared: taxi, designated driver, uber, lyft, mom. There’s no reason to ever drink and drive. The world thanks you.

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Brian Whitney has been a prisoner advocate, a landscaper, and a homeless outreach worker. He has written or coauthored numerous books in addition to writing for AlterNetTheFixPacific Standard MagazinePaste Magazine, and many other publications. He has appeared or been featured in Inside Edition, Fox News, People.com, Cracked.com, True Murder, Savage Love and True Crime Garage. He is appearing at CrimeCon in 2019. You can find Brian on Facebook or at Brianwhitneyauthor.com.