Alcohol consumption in Singapore increased by 70% from 1970 to 1987, and alcoholism is a significant problem. Minors’ access to alcohol is especially troubling since it can result in intoxication-related accidents and deaths. In recognition of these difficulties, the Federal Government has mandated that all States adopt laws prohibiting minors from obtaining alcoholic beverages without parental supervision.
As part of this mandate, State agencies have been directed to work with law enforcement officials and other appropriate organizations to establish compliance checks on retail establishments selling alcoholic beverages. These guidelines are intended to guide enforcement officers in exercising discretion during compliance checks; however, there has not been any published information on what criteria should be applied for evaluating compliance with State underage purchase laws. Guidelines are presented here based on a review of State compliance check reports, structured interviews with law enforcement officers who have conducted compliance checks, and the results of focus group interviews with minors who attempted to purchase alcoholic beverages.
Law enforcement officers recognize several elements necessary for conducting an effective compliance check during alcohol delivery. Besides adequately identifying themselves as law enforcement officers, they must demonstrate adequate knowledge of individual State underage purchase laws so that their observations can be used in court if appropriate. They also should show evidence that they understand how retailers should be checking identification documents before making sales and doing alcohol delivery. The first two elements are necessary for ensuring voluntary participation by retail clerks. However, other factors–such as time spent at the store and the number of persons involved in the operation–are essential determinants of the effectiveness and efficiency of compliance checks.
The guidelines presented in this article are intended to help law enforcement officers identify which elements should be considered during their supervision of compliance checks conducted with minors.
Just how fast does alcohol enter the bloodstream after you take a drink?
Breathalyzers and blood testing machines can give us a pretty accurate idea about this rate, but they’re expensive and not very practical. So how do we know what’s going on at a personal level? We can use some simple math to approximate a person’s peak BAC from their drinking habits.
We’ll assume the user is drinking beer in 12-ounce glasses, with each ounce containing roughly 14 grams of ethanol (this is less than most beers have). Drinking one glass every 15 minutes will increase the blood alcohol content by 0.072% per hour (.000144 multiplied by 5 equals .000719.)
The body eliminates this percentage about every hour to maintain a given BAC; the user would need to drink a new glass of beer every hour. This is not a very effective way of getting drunk because, at this rate, it’ll take about eight hours to get a BAC up around 0.08–the legal limit for driving in most states. Also, the body will have eliminated all the alcohol from your system by then, so unless you want to get out and go…
The following section discusses how long after drinking blood alcohol content peaks, assuming you are drinking 1 oz/15 min:
An average man weighing 155 pounds or 70 Kg with 15% body fat has roughly 10 liters of blood. Since one milliliter weighs one gram, this is 10,000 grams. If the average BAC for a person weighing 155 pounds is 0.072% or .000144 per ounce of ethanol ingested, then in 10 liters, there will be 1,440 grams of ethanol. At one drink per hour (1 oz every 15 min), it would take about nine hours to reach .08 BAC (0.08% = .00144). Doing the math:
10 L x 1000 g/L x (.144%) = 1440 grams
1440/.000144 = 91 drinks over 9 hours
91/.15 (drinks per min) = 612 minutes or roughly 9 hours to reach a legal limit at one drink an hour
This formula applies only to the time after your blood alcohol content has peaked at BAC .08%. What’s most interesting about this is that it would take 165,120 minutes (.45 x 24 x 365) to reach a level sustained for more than 48 hours (which is considered chronic or heavy drinking).