Visit your neighborhood bar or attend a local sporting event and you are likely to see a very common American past-time – alcohol consumption. In Alabama and nationwide, Americans like to drink. Whether your drink of choice is wine, beer, or a cocktail, consuming alcohol is more common than not.
But is heavy drinking in the U.S. a problem?
According to a recent study discussed on Alabama Public Radio, many Americans are heavy drinkers. Yet, the majority of those drinkers are not alcoholics. Researchers believe with some behavioral therapies, these drinkers can get back on track, without requiring complete abstinence.
Historically, there has been a presumption there are only two kinds of drinkers: moderate drinkers who may enjoy a glass of wine with dinner, and alcoholics, who get black-out drunk as soon as they take a sip.
New research suggests the majority of drinkers in the U.S. fall somewhere in between. Based on a new study published in Preventing Chronic Disease, the majority of adults who drink will drink a few alcoholic beverages during the week and even more on the weekends. An analysis of the study compared to recommended servings, means that at least 1 in 3 American adults is considered a heavy or excessive drinker.
When discussing alcohol use in terms of problematic drinking, terminology can seem relative. What exactly is “excessive drinking?” How do you define “dependency” or “alcoholic?”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, women who consume more than 8 drinks a week are considered excessive drinkers. Men who drink more than 15 are considered excessive. The term “alcoholic” is usually used to describe someone who is physically dependent on alcohol, but it has also been used to describe anyone who has a problem with cutting back.
Based on the definition of “excessive,” research shows the majority of Americans are somewhere in between and follow a pattern of “binge drinking” or having more than four drinks on one occasion. This doesn’t seem unreasonable, even if you have one drink per hour over the course of an entire evening. The study confirms drinking is more common than perhaps anticipated, both by health care professionals and the general population. The significant number of Americans that do drink alcohol and who may over-indulge from time-to-time also increases the likelihood of drinking and driving.
Getting behind the wheel after a few drinks is not uncommon and unfortunately, many drivers are unaware of their limits.
You may feel fine to drive and not impaired, but will still blow over the legal limit. Our Birmingham drunk driving defense attorneys know drunk driving arrests can affect anyone -professionals, college students, political officials and even police officers.
Drinking alcohol-even to excess-is not uncommon, but a DUI conviction can have lasting consequences. If you have been arrested, it is important to consult with an experienced legal advocate who can help you explore your options and aggressively defend your rights. There are many ways to mitigate the consequences of a DUI allegation and to protect your reputation and your future.