If ever one needed evidence of America’s profoundly contradictory attitude toward alcohol, one need look no further than the Town of East Hampton. By night, police conduct necessary sweeps to get drunken drivers off the roads. By day, it is a different story: Public drinking — to considerable excess — seems to be encouraged, at least tacitly.
Year-round South Fork residents know well what it means when an otherwise nondescript vehicle appears in their rearview mirrors with a flashing green or blue light on the dash. Other drivers, particularly those passing through just for a day or weekend, may have no idea that the signals say, “Get out of the way — and fast!”