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VT: Health Department Reminds Vermonters: Know What You are Drinking

VT: Health Department Reminds Vermonters: Know What You are Drinking

April is Alcohol Awareness Month

Health DepartmentApril 2, 2015

BURLINGTON – Written on a giant blackboard in bold colored chalk in the Mule Bar is a list of the available beers and their different alcohol contents. The Health Department applauds this type of disclosure, which the bar considers to be an important way to educate patrons about the amount of alcohol they are consuming and why some of the more potent beers are served in a smaller glass.

The Winooski bar has 10 different styles of glasses to fit the style of the beer. The 16 percent alcohol beer is poured in a 6 ounce glass, while the 2.7 percent alcohol beer is a 16-ounce pour. You can order one 16 percent alcohol beer, but not a second round.

“We always felt it was necessary to tell people what they would be getting into,” said Andrew Leichthammer, general manager, who also hands out printed sheets of the beer list with the alcohol content clearly marked. “We wanted to do it more as education for our customers, and for us it justifies not only the pour, but it also justifies the price point.”

April is Alcohol Awareness Month and the Health Department is asking all Vermonters, “How Much Are You Really Drinking?” A combination of a large serving size and higher alcohol content can lead a person to drink more than they intended or more than is safe.

Leichthammer says every bar should clearly display the alcohol content of its beer or hard cider

“Why would you not do it?” he said.

High risk drinking is an ongoing problem in Vermont, especially among young adults (age 18-25). Fifty-five percent reported drinking 5 or more drinks on a single occasion in the past 30 days, and 27 percent reported little to no perception that it was harmful, according to the 2014 Young Adult Survey

“The perception that high risk drinking is not risky or harmful has to change,” said Deputy Commissioner Barbara Cimaglio. “Heavy drinking poses a danger and serious health consequences for drinkers and those around them as well.

Vermonters can check their drinking patterns as safe, risky, or harmful using a quick, confidential online screener (http://www.alcoholscreening.org/Home.aspx) or by calling 1-800-639-6095. Screening is a preventative measure for any adult, like getting a regular blood pressure or cholesterol check.

For more information on “How much you are really drinking?” visit: http://sbirt.vermont.gov/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/standarddrinks.pdf