The year is winding down. Between Buzzfeed “Best Moments of 2015” articles, to Jib Jab’s “Year in Review” we have a lot to look back on and even more to look forward to. In 2016 a presidential election of massive proportions will take place, kale may no longer be a super food, and media might focus on someone other than the Kardashians. You may be ticking off resolutions, going to the gym, reading a book a week, or trying out a new hobby. But that all depends on if you make it to 2016.
New Year’s Eve is the SECOND most dangerous night to be found on the road. It closely follows Thanksgiving which is the most dangerous day of the year to be driving due to the sheer amount of people on the road. On New Year’s Eve many people will be found living it up at glamourous parties, hanging out drinking with friends, or sharing a first kiss and a champagne toast at midnight. But unfortunately, many of these people will assume that they are sober enough to drive and will put others at risk. Why do people make these assumptions? Regrettably, there are a few myths surrounding alcohol that are widely accepted by many, and I’ve taken it upon myself to explain them below.
Myth: Alcohol is a stimulant.
Fact: Alright, everyone who took Alcohol EDU at college or for work should know that alcohol IS a drug and IS a depressant. Yet plenty of people still believe that alcohol is a “pick me up”. It is not, alcohol makes you drowsy, does not help warm you up, and puts stress on your body.
Myth: “Liquor gets you quicker.”
Fact: Alcohol is alcohol. All standard drinks are created equal. A standard drink is a 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of 72 proof distilled liquor. The difference is a shot can be taken in one sip, versus a beer which is usually taken much more slowly.
Myth: You can have one alcoholic drink an hour and still drive home.
Fact: While it is a common theory that your liver can digest one standard drink in one hour, the process can sometimes take up to two. The average rate of alcohol metabolism is 100 milligrams of alcohol per kilogram of bodyweight per hour. For a typical 160-pound man, this would translate into 7 grams of alcohol in an hour. The so-called standard serving, a 12-ounce bottle of beer, is 14 grams of alcohol, so it would take two hours to fully metabolize it. For most people, if you drink one drink an hour, you’re going to become more and more impaired each hour. For that 160-pound person at the rate of one drink an hour, four hours of drinking is enough to get you to a blood alcohol concentration of .08 — aka legally drunk.
Myth: You can sober up quickly if you have to.
Fact: No, you can’t. When I was in college I used to say that the second I saw the police or a person of authority I would immediately become sober, or that by taking a cold shower and drinking coffee or stuffing my face full of pizza I would suddenly “Bibbity, Bobbity, be sober!” This is not the case. There is nothing that will speed up the process of your liver digesting alcohol.
Myth: Alcohol’s effects take a while to “hit”.
Fact: While your balance may not immediately be impaired upon consumption of alcohol, your judgment and inhibitions are affected very quickly. Physically, the effects may seem to take a while, but mentally, alcohol is already calling the shots.
This evening, and every evening we should go out with a plan. Before consuming any alcohol always know how you’re getting home. Draw straws for a designated driver, split an Uber, call a taxi, or sleep at your friends. It is better to wake up with aches from the floor than in a hospital bed because you decided to drive while intoxicated. Be vigilant and do not be afraid to take the keys from someone or call the police if someone is trying to drive under the influence. Respect your life and the lives of others before getting behind the wheel of a car. It’s just not worth it.
While a sobering blog on this exciting evening, Curcio Law does wish you a very fun New Year’s Eve, but we implore you to be very careful while on the roads. Look out for swaying cars and try not to speed or make any sudden lane changes. Ring in the New Year with a safe and fun evening!
Tom Curcio, the driving force behind Curcio Law, is a dedicated trial lawyer with more than 35 years of experience in Northern Virginia. He has dedicated his career to representing people who have been seriously injured through no fault of their own. He works tirelessly to obtain the compensation his clients are legally entitled to…
Rakin Hamad is a graduate of the George Mason Law School and joined Curcio Law as an associate in August 2018. Rakin works closely with Tom Curcio and staff in preparing cases from the initial client meeting through trial and has been a perfect fit for the firm. During law school, Rakin interned at the…
Julia Martinez, a Florida native, joined Curcio Law as a paralegal in 2013. She began her legal career in 1998 working at a personal injury firm that primarily handled automobile accidents, slip and falls, and products liability cases. Then, in 2008 she expanded her knowledge by working at two other law firms. She obtained her…
As the firm’s office manager, Kathy McAfee is dedicated to making sure the office runs smoothly and that the team has what it needs by way of resources, technology, and supplies to best serve our clients. Kathy graduated with a B.A. in Sociology from Roanoke College in 1986 and afterward, returned to Alexandria. She began…
Riann Winget, a native Texan, graduated with a BA in Psychology and a Minor in Legal Studies from the University of Pennsylvania in 2017. She was a member of the varsity soccer team, Chi Omega Sorority, and was on the university board for Big Brothers Big Sisters. After graduation, she joined AmeriCorps and taught preschool…
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