Birmingham DUI Lawyer: Safe Labor Day, Whatever Your Drink of Pleasure

Tags: Criminal Defense, DUI

We all know that alcohol consumption increases your risk of a DUI crash that could land you in handcuffs, in the emergency room or both.

Previous research has well established that roughly one-third of all emergency room visits are in some way related to alcohol.

Now, our Birmingham DUI defense attorneys have learned that a new study indicates your preferred brand of brew might put you at even greater risk for injury.


This information may be particularly relevant as we head into Labor Day weekend, which for many is marked with a boozy, end-of-summer celebration.

The study, conducted by researchers at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, shows that five brands of beer were over-represented by those who were treated in emergency rooms.

Those were malt liquors, typically containing more alcohol than regular beer.

Four brands accounted for nearly half of all emergency room visits over the course of a year in Baltimore, despite the fact that they accounted for less than 3 percent of the consumption by the general population.

Those brands included:

Steel Reserve;
Colt 45;
Bud Ice;
Bid Light.

This is not to say these brands are inherently bad and it certainly shouldn’t be taken to imply that other brands are safer. It’s simply that those who consume these particular brands may have a greater tendency to underestimate their level of intoxication for various reasons.

The information is especially pertinent as we near the end of the summer, when police agencies have announced numerous drunk driving check points across the state, due to higher-than-average volumes of DUI crashes in the weeks leading up to Labor Day. The National Highway Traffic Safety Association reports that among 18 to 34-year-old drivers killed in motor vehicle crashes over the 2011 Labor Day weekend, nearly 45 percent were intoxicated. Many more victims were passengers or innocent passersby.

The beer brand/emergency room study authors warn that the scope of the research is limited, and may reveal preferences that are more centric to drinkers in Baltimore. They say more research is needed on a national scale to fully assess the issue as it relates to other parts of the country.

It certainly appears to be worth further examination.

The Century Council research foundation revealed there were 278 alcohol-related fatalities in Alabama in 2011, with 40 of those being individuals under the age of 21. Nearly 62 percent of drivers in those cases had a blood-alcohol content of 0.15 percent or higher. Compare this to the legal over-the-limit threshold of 0.08 percent. Many of those were repeat offenders.


Additional Resources:
Beers Implicated in Emergency Room Visits, Aug. 19, 2013, By Anahad O’Connor, The New York Times
More Blog Entries:
Field Sobriety Tests Only One Piece of the Puzzle in Alabama DUI Cases, Aug. 25, 2013, Birmingham DUI Defense Lawyer Blog

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