Alcohol’s effects

Beer is a fascinating, diverse and delicious beverage, but it’s important to remember that it does contain alcohol and must be consumed responsibly.

Learn more about alcohol’s effects and how it’s processed below:

Absorption and elimination

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

“Alcohol affects every organ in the body. It is a central nervous system depressant that is rapidly absorbed from the stomach and small intestine into the bloodstream. Alcohol is metabolized in the liver by enzymes. However, the liver can only metabolize a small amount of alcohol at a time, leaving the excess alcohol to circulate throughout the body. The intensity of the effect of alcohol on the body is directly related to the amount consumed.”

Physical and behavioural indicators

The amount of alcohol in a person’s bloodstream is called blood alcohol concentration, or BAC.

According to the National Institutes of Health, common symptoms, levels of impairment, and risks for various blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels are as follows:

0.0 – 0.05% = Mild Impairment

  • Mild speech, memory, attention, coordination, balance impairments
  • Perceived beneficial effects, such as relaxation
  • Sleepiness can begin

0.06 – 0.15% = Increased Impairment

  • Perceived beneficial effects of alcohol, such as relaxation, give way to increasing intoxication
  • Increased risk of aggression in some people
  • Speech, memory, attention, coordination, balance further impaired
  • Significant impairments in all driving skills
  • Increased risk of injury to self and others
  • Moderate memory impairments

0.16 – 0.30% = Severe Impairment

  • Speech, memory, coordination, attention, reaction time, balance significantly impaired
  • All driving-related skills dangerously impaired
  • Judgment and decision-making dangerously impaired
  • Blackouts (amnesia)
  • Vomiting and other signs of alcohol overdose common
  • Loss of consciousness

0.31 – 0.45% = Life Threatening

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Danger of life-threatening alcohol overdose
  • Significant risk of death in most drinkers due to suppression of vital life functions

Beer is brewed with care to be consumed with care. Please drink responsibly.

Discovering Beer is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Cicerone® Certification Program.

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