At 33 years young, I still find myself referencing one-liners from the comic books of my youth. Ironically I find this is applicable to N.C. Beer Month because we are actually losing the power of control if we partake in too many of the festivities. It is ultimately on the individual to find that safe way home, and to educate friends, family and youth on “responsible drinking.”
I want to make it clear that I am not encouraging underage drinking when I talk about educating our youth. What I am doing is raising the topic because it is something typically ignored due to stigma. Ignoring this does not make it go away and properly educating students by institution or parenting can only help in raising awareness. Most major universities in North Carolina have now adopted the Alcohol EDU program for all incoming students. This program focuses on using science based information to explain how alcohol affects your body and mind.
I felt this topic needed to be addressed with N.C. Beer Month in full swing. There will be those that enjoy the festivities a bit excessively and will wake up the following morning thinking one thing… NEVER AGAIN.
I know if I am at a sporting event or festival that is an all-day event I need to look after myself. Here are a few steps I take to ensure my next morning is not a “NEVER AGAIN” morning.
Limiting my consumption of beer to one every hour helps me maintain a solid state of mind. During this hour I work on hydrating myself. I will drink at least one glass of water in this timeframe. This step is crucial during the summer time to ensure dehydration does not set in since alcohol is a diuretic. Diuretics tell the kidneys to excrete more fluid than is taken in, which can lead to problematic scenarios in the N.C. heat. Also consuming beer with food, especially high protein foods, will slow down the absorption of alcohol.
With some craft beers more than 11 to 12 percent abv, you may not even realize it is too late until you need to hand over your keys. What can we do about this? Well the simplest way to avoid this situation is not to drink, but we are in the middle of N.C. Beer Month. Designated drivers should be a staple of every beer enthusiast’s life. My college friends and I have a general rule, if you D.D. you don’t pay for anything. We recently had a gathering in which I was the D.D. My lunch was paid for, and my concessions were paid for at the sporting even we attended. Take care of your D.D. since he or she is helping to take care of you. It’s a win-win situation all around.
Understanding alcohol’s effect on you is a large part of being a responsible consumer. North Carolina’s DUI/DWI laws are in line with the rest of the country. All across the United States, the legal Blood Alcohol Limit (BAC) is 0.08 percent. If at 0.08 percent or over, it is considered a crime if caught driving. If you have a commercial driver’s license this is actually cut in half to a 0.04 percent BAC. North Carolina has a zero tolerance policy for those younger than 21 years of age.
Be safe this month, everyone, and please drink responsibly.
Louis Dawson is a volunteer at Aviator Brewing Company and has been home brewing for almost seven years. He has a B.S. from N.C. State in Animal Science and has been doing pre-clinical cancer research for more than 11 years as a Senior Research Specialist in R.T.P. Contact Louis by email at email@example.com or find him on Twitter @BrewLou.