Alcohol Safety and Young Adults

| August 9, 2013

It is federal law that anyone under the age of 21 does not consume alcoholic beverages. Lane County does not support underage drinking. This is an informational tool for people to use when deciding to drink.

Defining a “drink”

Reference: NIAAA’s “Rethinking Drinking” page

A drink is not measured by the size of the container it is severed in but rather the amount of alcohol in the beverage. [ A “standard drink” contains 0.6 ounces of pure alcohol.]

1 "serving" of alcohol - various drinks

Common beverages and their drink content:

keg cup sizeReference: Loyola Marymount University

  • One Four Loko: 5-6 drinks
  • One bottle of wine: 5 drinks
  • One “forty” of malt liquor (ex: Mickey’s): 5 drinks
  • One “forty” of beer (ex: Budweiser): 3.5 drinks
  • One “fifth” (750 mL) of hard alcohol: 17 drinks
  • One Long Island Iced Tea: 4 drinks
  • One “Adios…”: 5 drinks
  • One Martini: 2 drinks
  • One Margarita: 1.5 drinks
  • 1 full “keg cup” of beer: 1.3 drinks
  • 3 full keg cups (red cups) of beer: 4 drinks

**A keg cup filled with one mixed drink can be more than one or two standard drinks depending on how many shots you put into it. Remember that one 1.25 oz. shot is one standard drink.
**When mixing your own drinks at home, be mindful of how many shots (standard drinks) you pour into one cup.


Social drinker: Typically drinks slowly, spaces drinks, eats before or while drinking, abstains while taking medication, never drives during or after drinking, knows and obeys drinking laws, and respects nondrinkers.

Problem drinker: Typically drinks to get drunk, drinks to cope with problems and stress, experiences personality changes when drinking, may have blackouts, has lower grades, is defensive about drinking and unable to have a good time without drinking.

Alcoholic:  Typically loses control of drinking, spends much time thinking/talking about drinking, hides drinking, denies drinking, needs to drink when under stress and their drinking causes major problems with friends, family, and police.

Binge drinking: Typically drinking alcoholic beverages with the primary intention of becoming intoxicated by heavy consumption of alcohol over a short period of time. Binge drinking brings the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level to .08 or more, 5 or more drinks in a single occasion for men or 4 or more drinks on a single occasion for women, generally within about 2 hours.

Self-Evaluation Quizzes

  1. Do you drink because you have problems?
  2. Do you drink when you get mad at other people (your friends, parents, etc.)?
  3. Do you prefer to drink alone, rather than with others?
  4. Are your grades starting to slip? Are you goofing off on your job?
  5. Have you ever tried to stop drinking or drink less, and failed?
  6. Have you begun to drink in the morning, before school or work?
  7. Do you gulp your drinks?
  8. Do you ever have loss of memory due to drinking?
  9. Do you lie about your drinking?
  10. Do you ever get into trouble when you’re drinking?
  11. Do you get drunk when you drink, even when you don’t mean to?
  12. Do you think it’s cool to be able to “hold your liquor”?


0 Yes: You answered “no” to all the questions, which is a good thing! But, the fact that you cared enough to take the quiz means you should stay alert to signs of trouble developing in your relationship with alcohol.
1-4 Yes: You’ve only answered “yes” to a few questions, but even those few could mean you’re not as in control of your alcohol use as you might think.
5-8 Yes: You’ve answered “yes” to several of the questions, which doesn’t necessarily mean you’re on your way to rehab, but it could mean you’re developing an unhealthy relationship with alcohol.
9-12 Yes: You’ve answered “yes” the majority of the questions, which means it’s really time to find out more about your use of alcohol.

How to recognize and what to do in an alcohol emergency

If you suspect an alcohol emergency call 911 right away.

Alcohol depresses nerves that control involuntary actions such as breathing, heartbeat, and gag reflexes that prevent you from choking. If a person drinks too much alcohol these functions will eventually stop. It is important to remember that even though a person may seem alright at first glance, there may be alcohol in their system that has not yet been digested. Therefore, their BAC is continuing to rise.

Remember alcohol emergencies are medical emergencies and need to be addressed right away. The paramedics are not there to tell on you to your parents, they are there to help.

Get the Keys — How You Can Intervene


  1. If it is a close friend, try and use a soft, calm approach at first. Suggest to them that they’ve had too much to drink and it would be better if someone else drove or if they took a cab.
  2. Be calm and make light of it.
  3. Try to make it sound like you are doing them a favor.
  4. If it is somebody you don’t know well, speak to their friends and have them make an attempt to persuade them to hand over the keys. Usually they will listen.
  5. If it’s a good friend, spouse or significant other, tell them that if they insist on driving you are not going with them. Suggest that you will call someone else for a ride, take a cab or walk.
  6. Get a hold of their keys while they are preoccupied and take them away. Most likely, they will think they’ve lost them and will be forced to find another mode of transportation.
  7. If possible, avoid embarrassing the person or being confrontational.

Alcohol and Sexual Safety

Today there are a number of drugs on the street, on campuses, and in bars that are being labeled “date rape drugs” due to the fact that they are actively being used to incapacitate and rape victims. The drugs that are used to facilitate sexual assault are constantly changing. However, alcohol has been the #1 “date rape drug” for a long time.

In Oregon you cannot legally give consent if you are in ANY way mentally capacitated — drunken sex is not consensual sex.

How to reduce your risk of drug facilitated sexual assault:

  1. Don’t leave beverages unattended. If you do, don’t go back to it. Get a new drink.
  2. Do not share or exchange drinks.
  3. If your drink tastes strange, bitter, salty, etc., get rid of it.
  4. Do not accept beverages that have been opened or come from a keg/punchbowl.
  5. If you order a drink from a bartender or server watch him or her prepare it.
  6. Don’t take a drink from anyone you can’t fully trust.
  7. Bring your own drinks to parties.
  8. Don’t leave a bar or party with someone you can’t fully trust — especially if you are feeling drunk.
  9. Watch out for friends. Go in a group or use the buddy system.
  10. If someone is acting very drunk, try to get him or her to a safe place.
  11. If you see someone being led away, try to get her or him away from the person and to a safe place.
  12. If you or a friend think that you have been given a drug, call 911 and try to keep a sample of the drink.

If you are a victim of sexual assault:

  1. Get away from the attacker to a safe place as fast as you can. Then call 911 or the police.
  2. Call a friend or family member that you trust. You can also call a crisis center or hotline to talk with a counselor. The National Sexual Assault Hotline is 800-656-HOPE (4673).
  3. Do not wash, comb, or clean any part of your body. Do not change clothes if possible, so the hospital staff can collect evidence. Do not touch or change anything at the scene of the assault.
  4. Go to your nearest hospital emergency room as soon as possible. You need to be examined, treated for any injuries, and screened for possible sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or pregnancy and the doctor will collect evidence.

How to help a victim of sexual assault:

You can help someone who is abused or who has been assaulted by listening and offering comfort. Go with her or him to the police, the hospital, or to counseling. Reinforce the message that she or he is not at fault, and that it is natural to feel angry or ashamed.

  1. Believe them.
  2. Support them: listen to what they want
  3. Refer them to get medical attention

For more information on sexual assault check out these resources:

Category: Alcohol, Young Adults, Young Adults - Alcohol

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