Students that drink at parties might be getting more bang for
their cup. By pouring more alcohol into larger-size cups, students
may be downing more booze than they realize, according to a recent
study.

Mira Levitan
According to a study of Duke University students and their drinking habits, students overestimate the amount of alcohol in shots, beers and mixed drinks. (Photo Illustration by JONATHON TRIEST/Daily)

The study, published in November’s issue of Alcoholism:
Clinical and Experimental Research, focused on 106 Duke University
students and their drinking habits.

The students all overestimated the amount of alcohol contained
in what they believed to be one shot, one serving of beer and one
mixed drink.

University of Michigan LSA sophomore Jackie Gamache said the
results are not surprising.

“It’s not like people are walking around with a shot
glass, measuring how much alcohol is going in each drink,”
Gamache said.

Binge drinking, defined as the consumption of five or more
drinks by men and four or more by women, plays into the new study
as well. With more alcohol unintentionally being poured into cups,
students may be binge drinking unknowingly.

The effects of binge drinking, both acute and chronic, are well
documented. The potential hazards include liver damage, tissue
damage and a greater potential for sexual assault. According to the
National Institute on Alcohol and Alcoholism, binge drinking is
responsible for 1,400 student deaths per year.

The University has seen its share of binge drinking-related
deaths in recent years.

The most highly publicized was the death of international
student Byung-Soo Kim in 2000. Kim died of alcohol poisoning after
drinking shots on his 21st birthday at a student-run party.

Unlike campus parties, local bars and taverns claim to carefully
measure the amount of alcohol that goes into their drinks.

Lauren Musu, a waitress at the Brown Jug said she makes drinks
uniformly.

“Our mixed drinks have one to two shots which is one and a
half to three ounces of alcohol,” Musu said.

Most stores in Ann Arbor stock 20-ounce plastic cups, which have
the capacity to hold far greater alcohol than the amount typically
accepted for a single beer or a mixed drink.

Still, many students opt for cans over cups to avoid downing any
mixed surprises.

“I usually only go to places where I can drink out of a
can. When people make mixed drinks it can be really open,
I’ve seen people just pouring stuff into a pitcher,”
LSA sophomore Rachel Leifer said.

She added that she thought binge drinking is much more likely
when drinking out of cups, as the person pouring rarely keeps track
of how much alcohol goes into the cup.

LSA senior Kendon Wilson recalled a common party experience.

“People try and get the most alcohol they can with a cup.
At a party, when I see someone making a drink they don’t stop
pouring until the other person says ‘stop,’”
Wilson says.

 

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