Don’t rely on alcohol myths

Capt. Kimberly Quedensley
435th Air Base Wing Legal Office

There are many myths about alcohol. Relying on these common misconceptions could lead to a serious mistake in judging your ability to drive after drinking.
Myth: Beer is less intoxicating than other types of alcohol.
Fact: One 12-ounce beer, one 4-ounce glass of wine or one mixed drink are all equally intoxicating. Alcohol is alcohol no matter what form you drink it in. European beers are also known to have a higher level of alcohol than American beers.
Myth: Cold showers, fresh air and hot coffee will help sobriety.
Fact: Only time will remove alcohol from your system.
Myth: Eating a big meal before drinking will keep you sober.
Fact: Drinking on a full stomach will only delay the absorption of alcohol into the bloodstream, not prevent it.
Myth: The body metabolizes one drink per hour.
Fact: The rate of metabolism varies for each individual and depends upon the liver’s ability to break down the alcohol into several basic elements. In addition, drinks with a higher concentration of alcohol may take the body longer to metabolize.
In an example from the “You don’t think when you drink” file, a member was selected to be the designated driver for the night. He figured he could have one drink and still be able to drive home.

After awhile, he wanted to have “just one more drink,” figuring that in an hour he’d be sober to drive. While driving home, he was pulled over at a DUI check point and registered a .08 blood alcohol level, which is above the German legal limit when driving. He received a German drunk driving conviction, was fined € 250, received a letter of reprimand from his commander, and his driving privileges were revoked for a year. When it came time for his performance report, this incident was included and resulted in a referral.

This person thought he was playing it safe, even though his blood alcohol level was below .10. If you are going to drive, don’t drink at all. There are consequences for driving with alcohol in your system. In Germany, the law sets the limit for drunk driving at .05. If you register between .05 and .10 and there are other signs of impairment, such as being involved in an accident, you may receive an Article 15 for drunk driving. Don’t believe the myths. Think before you drink!