Alcohol Awareness

Myths About Alcohol:

"Some people think alcohol is a stimulant, not a depressant."
"Some drivers mistakenly think that alcohol improves their driving."

"Some people foolishly believe that coffee, a cold shower, exercise, or fresh air can sober them up."

Some Facts About Alcohol:

  1. Alcohol is a drug, and it is a powerful depressant.
  2. You must be of legal age (age depends on the state) to buy or be served any type of alcohol. In New York State as of December 1, 1985, you must be 21 years old.
  3. Beer and wine are just as potent as hard liquor:
    12 ounces of beer =
    5 ounces of wine =
    1.5 ounces of 80 proof liquor
  4. Alcohol intensifies the effect of tranquilizers, while antihistamines may cause the effect of alcohol to sharply increase.
  5. Alcohol is involved in:

50% of all traffic fatalities
50% of all murders
33% of all suicides
25% of all other accidents


Did You Know?

  • 54% of Oneonta State College Students choose to drink once a week or less (30%).
  • 57% of Oneonta State College Students never or rarely used marijuana in the last year.

When asked the average number of drinks consumed in a week:
19% of Oneonta State College Students answered ZERO.
40% of Oneonta State College Students answered 4 or LESS!

Know the Law and the Consequences!
If you drink and drive you can get into serious trouble. New York law states:
You must not drive or be in physical control of any moving vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.

If a police officer suspects you of driving while intoxicated (DWI) you may be arrested and asked to submit to a test to measure your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC). If you refuse the test, your license will be suspended for a period of six months.

If your BAC is .08% or higher, you are intoxicated by law. If your BAC is .05% to .07%, you still may be charged with DWAI (driving while ability-impaired).

The penalties for DWI include a fine, license suspension, time in jail, hours of community service work, or any combination of the above.

A DWI conviction never gets "taken off" your driving record!

The Drunk Driver

If you don't drink and drive, you must still look out for those who do.

A person who is DWI will not be able to adequately control their vehicle,
so you must drive defensively.

Be alert for the driver who:

  • Makes wide turns
  • Straddles the center line
  • Passes extremely close to objects or vehicles
  • Drives unreasonably slow or fast
  • Hugs the shoulder, curb, or edge of the road
  • Weaves, creating a zigzag course
  • Fails to use headlights at night
  • Drives with the windows open in cold weather
  • Stops or starts in a jerky manner
  • Follows another vehicle too closely


How to Stay Sober

It is possible to drink alcohol and not become intoxicated!

Here are some hints to help you stay sober: 

  1. Set a limit on the number of drinks you will have and stick to it.

  2. Space drinks so that you consume no more than one per hour.

  3. Food can slow alcohol's effects. Choose starchy or high protein foods, and eat them before and while you drink.

Having fun and getting home safely is your responsibility!

If you decide to drink, please plan ahead to walk, use public transportation, or designate one person in the group who will drive and not drink.



How to give a safe party

If you are planning a party, you can help your guests by:

  • Not forcing drinks on them.
  • Making non-alcoholic drinks available.
  • Serving food along with the drinks.
  • Measuring mixed drinks, not guessing.
  • Closing the bar at least one hour before the party ends.

If you do become drunk or if a guest of yours becomes drunk, there are some things that you can do to prevent a DWI charge or an accident: 

  1. Ask someone to take you home or if you're the host, take your guest home.
  2. Call a taxi.
  3. Arrange to spend the night with a friend, or ask your guest to spend the night.

Remember, only time will sober you up!
There is no way to speed up the process by which alcohol leaves the body.

If you need help with an alcohol related problem, contact one of the agencies listed below:

Substance Abuse Treatment Program

Alcoholics Anonymous

College at Oneonta Health & Wellness Center

Otsego County Alcoholism Services

Drinking-Driving Program