Alcohol consumption causes a number of marked changes in behavior. Even small amounts alcohol can significantly impair the judgment, reaction time and coordination needed to safely operate equipment or drive a car.
A 12-oz. can of beer, a 5-oz. glass of wine and a 1.5-oz. shot of hard liquor all contain the same amount of alcohol. Coffee, cold showers and exercise do not speed up the body’s ability to metabolize alcohol. Each half ounce of alcohol takes the average body about one hour to process and eliminate. Only the passage of time will free the body from the effects of alcohol.
Low to moderate doses of alcohol increase the incidence of a variety of aggressive acts, including physical altercations, threats, and spousal and child abuse. Moderate to high doses of alcohol cause marked impairments in higher mental functions, severely altering a person’s ability to learn and remember information. Very high doses cause respiratory depression and death. If combined with drugs, much lower doses of alcohol can multiply the problems.