« Myths and Facts about Alcohol

Myth: Drinking coffee will help sober me up.

Truth: Only time will sober you up. Once alcohol is in your blood, there isn't anything you can do about it but wait. Coffee might wake you up, but it sure won't do anything about your blood alcohol levels.

Myth: Eating breath mints will fool a police 'breath test'.

Truth: The breath test is not fooled by breath mints. Blood alcohol measurement devices measure the alcohol content of the air in your lungs - breath mints will not change the alcohol content.

Myth: Mixing alcohol, wine and beer will make you more drunk.

Truth: Mixing alcohol can result in side effects, such as upset stomach. As for the saying "Beer before liquor, never sicker; alcohol before beer, never fear" - the reason for this is that beer usually gets you drunker slower than liquor because it takes longer to drink. A beer is usually consumed in 10-20 minutes, whereas a shot is consumed in seconds. If a person is already drunk on beer and has three shots quickly, they don't have time to realize how drunk he/she is. If a person has several shots and then has three beers, he/she has 30-60 minutes to realize that he/she is over his/her limit.

Myth: Beer has less alcohol than shots of liquor and glasses of wine.

Truth: Common alcohol serving sizes were chosen so that each serving of alcohol would have approximately the same amount of alcohol. Thus, a 341mL/12 oz. can/bottle of beer has about the same amount of alcohol as a 4 oz glass of wine, one 1.5 oz shot of liquor and one standard mixed drink.

Myth: Eating certain foods before an evening of heavy drinking will help keep me sober.

Truth: Certain foods may slow down the rate of absorption of alcohol into your blood. However, the alcohol that goes into your body will come out in some form or another. If you're eating a meal to limit your drunkeness, think again - that's a bad idea.

Myth: Taking a cold shower or splashing water in my face sober me up?

Truth: No, it won't. While it might make you feel fresher or more awake, it has no effect on your blood alcohol content. Don't use this as a means to sober you up, because it doesn't work!

Myth: Physical activity will sober me up.

Truth: Exercise, because it speeds up your heart rate, may have a marginal affect to sober you up. However, this affect is so marginal that it's almost negligible in the grand scheme of things. If you had enough time to get drunk, wait longer and stay safe. It doesn't pay to drink and drive.

Myth: If you can't taste the alcohol in a drink, it's not there.

Truth: Some mixers, such as fruit juices, can mask the taste of alcohol. Also, certain types of alcohol (i.e. alcool) do not taste very strong, but the alcohol is still there. The best policy is - if you're drinking, don't drive!



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