April is Alcohol Awareness Month: Get the Facts!
Since 1987, April has been observed as Alcohol Awareness Month. The initiative originally targeted binge drinking in college-aged students. Today, Alcohol Awareness Month is a time for adults of all ages to learn and understand the facts about alcohol.
During Alcohol Awareness Month, we can:
- Promote healthy behaviors towards drinking
- Understand the difference between social drinking and alcoholism
- Stress the importance of not drinking and driving
Understanding the Effects of Alcohol
It is important to understand that alcohol does not affect everyone in the same way. Your friend may seem “fine” after three drinks, whereas you feel impaired after only two.
The only objective way to measure the amount of alcohol in a person’s bloodstream is through their blood alcohol content (BAC). According to American Addiction Centers, a person’s BAC is the result of:
- The amount of alcohol consumed
- Their weight
- Whether they’re male or female
- Their pattern of drinking, including how many drinks were consumed in a certain amount of time
Just one drink can impair a person’s judgment, affect their vision, and slow their coordination. When it comes to driving after having a few drinks, there is no “safe” amount.
What is Binge Drinking?
“Binge drinking” may be one of the least understood facts about alcohol. There is some confusion about how the term is defined. In general, binge drinking is consuming several drinks in a short amount of time. Many people might be surprised at how “few” drinks are binge drinking. According to the CDC, binge drinking is consuming:
- Four or more drinks in two hours, for women.
- Five or more drinks in two hours, for men.
Drinking a lot in a short amount of time increases your BAC quickly. Young people, including high school and college students, are especially at risk for binge drinking. They may not be aware of how quickly alcohol affects them.
Signs of Alcoholism
It can be difficult to know if you or someone you care about is a social drinker or is showing signs of alcoholism. Alcohol Awareness Month is a good time to assess your attitudes and concerns about drinking. If you think alcohol is a problem, consider the following questions:
- Has anyone ever criticized you for the amount you drink?
- Have you ever thought you might be drinking too much?
- Do you often binge drink?
- Have you tried to cut back on alcohol, but were unable to?
- Does drinking or being hungover interfere with work, family, or other obligations?
- Do you find yourself drinking more and more alcohol?
- Do you feel guilty after drinking?
If you answered “Yes” to any of these questions, it’s a good idea to examine your behaviors and consider seeking help.
Drunk Driving is Preventable
DUI, DWI, or OWI. Whatever your state calls the charges, it means the same thing: driving while impaired. Drunk driving is 100% preventable. If you are going to drink, play it safe. Choose a designated driver or call a cab.
Driving while impaired is not only unsafe, but it’s also expensive and creates a domino effect of problems. Depending on where you live, you might face hefty fines, jail time, and even a loss of driving privileges. Losing your license affects your ability to work, provide for your family, and meet other commitments.
If you do get a DWI, Draeger Interlock is here to help you get back on the road. You may be required to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle. We’re here to help you stay compliant with those requirements. Our devices keep impaired drivers off the road and prevent repeat DWI offenses. For more information about ignition interlock installation, please contact us.
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