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Bar and restaurant patrons may be drinking more than they realize

With the holiday season upcoming, it is no secret that anti drunk driving campaigns will be heard and seen throughout New Jersey. Accidents caused by drunk driving (and subsequent deaths) are of particular concern during Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve, because people tend to drink more during this time of the year. While law enforcement agencies and safety advocates will urge drivers to be careful, true vigilance comes from knowing how much alcohol is in a particular drink.

Even as consumers try to limit their drinks, they could still be getting more than what they bargained for, as drinks may have much more alcohol in them than what is believed. According to the National Alcohol Beverage Control Association, many drinks being served in bars and restaurants exceed the guideline amounts provided by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

For example, a “drink”, according to the USDA guidelines, is a 12 ounce beer with five percent alcohol or a five ounce glass of wine with 12 percent alcohol. However, some beers exceed the alcohol threshold, even though they may be very similar. Flavored beers and malt beverages such as Mike’s Hard Lemonade, Bacardi Silver, and Bud Light Platinum may have more alcohol than a traditional beer such as Coors Light. A consumer who drinks two “designer” beers may be consuming as much as 50 percent more alcohol than a traditional beer without even realizing it.

Because of this, drivers must be careful in choosing their drinks so that they don’t end up on the wrong side of the law.

Source:, How much alcohol in your drink? Stonger beverages make it tough to tell, October 21, 2013