April is officially Alcohol Awareness Month. Instead of having a drink in honor of this awareness movement, there are some facts and considerations to take into account. Alcohol is not something that should be used irresponsibly – and should never be used while driving. With the number of accidents, injuries, and fatalities associated with drunk driving in the United States, it is imperative that all adults of legal drinking age understand the facts about alcohol – whether they are driving or not.
Sobering Facts to Consider for Alcohol Awareness Month
- Binge drinking doesn’t require as much alcohol as you may think. Binge drinking gives people a false sense of what is considered too much. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers “heavy drinking” for anyone who has eight or more drinks per week for women and 15 or more drinks per week for men. Binge drinking is a common form of drinking and is defined as four or more drinks during a single occasion for women and five or more drinks during a single occasion for men.
- The legal drinking age for most states is 21 years. Under the National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984, states are required to prohibit drinking for those under the age of 21. These individuals cannot purchase, possess, or consume alcohol. In order for a state to receive State highway funds, they must adhere to this Act. The Act, however, does not explicitly state that a person under the age of 21 cannot consume alcohol, which is why some states still allow lower drinking ages (some as low as 18). While those turning 18 may want the drinking age lowered, a Gallup poll in 2014 found that most adults are against lowering the legal drinking age in the United States.
- Drinking is dangerous and can lead to injury. Drinking is not just dangerous while driving. In fact, drinking is associated with injuries that result from assaults, sexual assaults, slip and fall injuries, and traumatic brain injuries. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 20,000 people died in drunk driving accidents in 2013.
- Alcohol poisoning is quite common. A person could suffer from alcohol poisoning, even minor cases, without being aware. If untreated, alcohol poisoning could lead to serious, long-term complications, or even death. Some common symptoms of alcohol poisoning include minimal impairment, decreased judgement, slurred speech, reduced coordination, nausea or vomiting, and coma.
- It is easier than you think to be responsible with alcohol. It is not impossible to be responsible when drinking. While alcohol is a common fixture at social gatherings, you can still enjoy your time out without suffering from alcohol poisoning or putting others at risk. If you are drinking, know what you are drinking and monitor how much of it you drink. Do not mix alcohol with energy drinks – the caffeine can actually mask the effects of alcohol and allow you to drink more. Drink water in between drinks to help lower the alcohol concentration in your blood. If you have been drinking, do not drive – even if you feel only “buzzed.”
Were You Injured by a Drunken Driver?
If you or a loved one was injured in an accident with a drunk driver, contact the expert accident team at Malman Law. We will fight aggressively for your right to compensation and help you cover your financial losses. Contact us to ask a question online via our online contact form.