There used to be two sets of rules at Metro about imbibing alcoholic drinks during working hours.

It was forbidden in operational divisions and in or on trains, tracks, stations, buses, garages and transit police cruisers. But it was okay for people in buildings that served only administrative functions.

Hence, in bygone times, those who lunched in the cafeteria and the executive dining room of the transit authority's headquarters could have beer, wine or the hard stuff with lunch -- a carryover from the days when Metro brass was domiciled in L'Enfant Plaza South, just down the mall corridor from Lucky Pierre's.

Then, and later at Metro's Sixth Street headquarters, anyone eating at the table of the late Jackson Graham, the tough retired Army general who was Metro's boss, would get a steely stare for ordering a second prelunch drink and likely a dressing-down for a third.

According to Intercom, Metro's employe newsletter, the transit authority now has banned the consumption of alcoholic beverages on all Metro property at all times -- and that includes office celebrations (though not those held in hotels or restaurants).

The only exception to the ban is in "air rights" properties Metro leases to such commercial establishments as the Connecticut Connection.

The ban is part of a stepped-up program, developed with the cooperation of the workers' unions, to end alcohol and drug abuse among Metro employes.

And that explains why, when they recently dedicated Metro headquarters as the Jackson Graham Building, the beverage was a bland fruit punch.