1. The Effects of Alcohol

  • Absorption and Elimination
    • Absorption is the passage of alcohol into the blood.
      • Most absorption occurs from the small intestine due to its large surface area and rich blood supply.
      • Generally, the higher the alcohol concentration of the beverage, the faster the rate of absorption. However, above a certain concentration, the rate of absorption may decrease due to the delayed passage of alcohol from the stomach into the small intestine.
    • Distribution is the temporary placement of alcohol into various body tissues.
    • Elimination is the removal of alcohol from the body.
      • Alcohol is eliminated from the body by excretion and metabolism.
      • Most alcohol is metabolized, or burned, in a manner similar to food, yielding carbon dioxide and water. A small portion of alcohol is excreted, such as through the breath.
    • Diffusion is the method of passage of alcohol through cell membranes and is governed by concentration differences on either side of the cell wall.
  • Physical and Behavioral Indicators. The following features have been shown to be negatively influenced by alcohol:
    • Vision: (visual acuity, depth perception; peripheral vision; and glare recovery)
    • Reaction time: simple, choice and complex reaction times
    • Tracking tasks: compensatory and pursuit tracking
    • Cognitive functions: concentrated attention; divided attention; rates of information processing; judgement; and decision-making.
    • Psychomotor skills: coordination; body sway; manual dexterity; and general walking
    • Other aspects: memory; risk-taking; overcompensation

2. Responsible Serving

  • Legal Considerations
    • Regulations vary by state. It is important to familiarize yourself with your states particular laws.
    • In General:
      • Consuming Alcohol: Person must be 21 years of age to consume alcohol. Acceptable forms of identification varies with state.
      • Pouring Alcohol: 21 for bartenders and cocktail servers. Tpyically, 18 to serve alcohol in a bonafide eating place — an area primarily designed and used for the sale and service of food.
      • ID Confiscation: Employees have the right to confiscate stolen, expired or false forms of ID. Some states may actually REQUIRE it by law.
      • Serving Minors: Illegal across the board. Most states consider this to be a misdemeanor offense.
      • Happy Hour Laws: Vary by state.
      • Re-corking Laws: Vary by state.
      • Serving Hours: Vary by state.
  • Healthy consumption: Debatable depending on the resource. Alcohol consumed in moderation is thought to help reduce the risk of heart disease. Most sources say that alcohol in moderation is equivalent to 1 drink over the course of an hour and — for women, 2-3 drinks in one day — for men, 3-4 drinks in one day.
  • Good practice in selling alcohol:
    • Always check IDs
    • Alcohol is not served to intoxicated persons — right to deny service
    • Alcohol is not “over-served” — right to deny service
    • Encourage water & food consumption
    • Call taxi cabs for intoxicated individuals

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