Know Alcohol
Not All Alcohol is Created Equal
  • 12oz. beer= 1 drink (5% AlcoholByVolume)
  • 5 oz. wine= 1 drink (12% ABV)
  • 1.5 oz. hard liquor that is 80 proof = 1 drink (40% ABV). To find the “proof,” multiply the percentage of alcohol displayed on any bottle of alcohol.  For example, Jack Daniels is 40% alcohol by volume, which means it is 80 proof
  • .5 oz. hard liquor that is 100 proof (50% ABV= 100 proof)
Consider when Drinking
  • Along with biology, weight and number of drinks consumed, physical condition, medications, food consumed, and sleep all impact blood alcohol concentration (BAC)
  • Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant, and can cause drowsiness. However, it does not improve the quality of sleep. It reduces REM and increases next day drowsiness.
  • Moderate drinking (2-3 drinks) can result in loss of motor coordination for 12-18 hours after drinking, and negatively impact endurance for up to 48 hours after the last drink.
  • Your tolerance can be decreased when drinking in a new, unfamiliar place. For example, drinking in a familiar apartment, you may not experience the same tolerance than while on spring break in a new city.
  • Only TIME sobers someone up, not coffee, cold showers, water, or food.
  • “Passing out” and sleeping are not the same.  A passed out person does not wake up after being pinched.  Get immediate help for a passed out person.  Alcohol continues to process after passing out, increasing the BAC to higher levels.
  • Drinking alcohol causes alcohol myopia (a.k.a. “beer goggles” or “nearsightedness”)
    • Sober, you can consider your full range of values, thoughts and concerns. As BAC rises, awareness of future events is reduced and increased focus is placed on the “here and now,” making your values, clear thoughts and prior concerns less important.
      • For example, you know not to drink and drive.  BUT tacos sound really good after a few beers, and all you can think of is getting to Taco Bell ®.  You’re not thinking about the dangers of drinking and driving any more, all you want is the food!
    • Alcohol myopia begins at .06 BAC.