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Public Order Crimes - Alcoholic Beverages

percent ethanol liquor wine

Rarely when an individual drinks an alcoholic beverage are they drinking pure alcohol. Only a few ounces of the pure liquid rapidly raises blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) to a very dangerous level leading to unconsciousness and possibly death. The alcohol in drinks is ethanol. The approximate ethanol concentration for the most common alcoholic beverages is as follows:

  • Beer: 4–6 percent
  • Malt liquor: 5–8 percent
  • Wine cooler: 5–10 percent
  • Wine: 9–13 percent
  • Champagne: 8–14 percent

Hard liquor (such as vodka, tequila, whiskey, rum): 40–95 percent

Grain alcohol: 95–97.5 percent

Hard liquor and grain alcohol are commonly diluted with various soda, fruit or sweetened juices, or water.

A standard .12-ounce beer, 5-ounce glass of wine, or 1 shot (1.5 ounces) of hard liquor all contain 12 grams of pure ethanol. It takes the human body about one hour to metabolize (absorb and breakdown) 12 grams of ethanol. When drinks are consumed at a pace faster than the body can metabolize, a person begins to feel intoxicated. Intoxication levels will rise as drinking continues. Symptoms of intoxication are slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, a lack of mental clearness, loss of coordination, and often the willingness to take dangerous risks.

(Information from Just Facts.org at http://www.justfacts.or/jf/alcohol/general.asp)

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