In this article on the hazards of partying in Iran published in the Canadian Magazine Macleans, the author gives a decent overview of party basics in Iran: bribing police, partying in the countryside and getting bribed.
Recently a friend —along with 60 other party attendees— got arrested at a party that was raided in his own building. He spent two nights in jail where he wasn’t fed. No one got lashed, and no one lost their job.
The fact is that parties in Tehran are an accepted part of life now. At a birthday party friends threw for me last year, police arrived around 2am. When they came up they didn’t hassle anyone and said, “Consume whatever you want, just turn down the music,” adding that, “we wouldn’t have come, but we can ignore complaints from your neighbors.”
So that was the end of that soiree, but what never gets talked about is what happens after the party. No, I’m not referring to the hookups.
I’m talking about drunk driving.
It’s become abundantly clear to me, and apparently no one else, that driving under the influence is a big problem, and one with no easy solution.
Of all the idiosyncrasies of living in Iran, add this one to the list: drunk people feel safer getting a ride home from someone else who has been drinking than they do from a sober person they don’t know, like a taxi driver for example.
Accurate statistics on drunk driving deaths in Iran don’t exist, and as far as I can tell, there are no laws that specifically penalize drunk drivers, since all drinking is illegal.
For a campaign like MADD —Mullahs Against Drunk Driving, anyone?— a lot of Islamic judgment would have to be put aside, but it wouldn’t be a first for Iran. Have a look at this forward thinking needle exchange program in Tehran, that has helped to reduce transmission levels of HIV among intravenous drug users; a good example of realistic approaches to solving modern problems, of which Iran is full.