Yes, boozing and then hitting the road was quite common in the past. In fact, Texans in the old days would come out of the bar, put on their one eye jack and start driving. Apparently, it was a popular belief that if you drink and drive with just one eye open you would have a better chance of seeing things.
In 1985, there were 25 states in the US where drunk driving was legal. Many of the Asian countries too did not have a law against drunk driving till the 1990’s. Alabama was the last state in the US to make drunken driving illegal and that happened in 2012!