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Myths of Alcohol

Course Number: AL-256
Course Length: 1 Day (7.5 Hours)

Alcohol is the drug of choice for many persons. Law enforcement officers, corrections officers, probation and parole officers, DUI coordinators, alcohol treatment professionals, other drug and alcohol professionals, nurses, teachers, driver training professionals, and others deal with the determination of excessive use and/or abuse legally, professionally, and personally. Users of this beverage often detail narratives of intake, effect, testing and degree of impairment with both honest and self-serving denial or description of events.

Alcohol is consumed both in moderation, and through abuse, on a frequent basis by large segments of the population. What actually is it? What does it really do inside the human body? What are the various types and strengths of alcohol beverages? How is alcohol used? What are the effects of its use and abuse? What are the interactive effects of various combinations of illegal and over-the-counter drugs with alcohol? What myths are widely circulated about DUI detection and arrests? This workshop will discuss these and other related issues. Participants will confront the myths of alcohol by way of recent studies.

Included is an introduction to the forensic testing of blood and breath for alcohol, and a discussion of preliminary breath test devices, evidentiary breath test devices and Standardized Field Sobriety Tests. There are many myths associated with these processes, including practicing walking a line, placing a penny in the mouth, using of breath spray, eating an onion, chewing tobacco, drinking particular alcoholic beverages to avoid detection or even eating personal clothing. Arrested persons often claim officer induced higher BAC readings through improper procedures or manipulation. Some will use false teeth, physical ailments, consumption of certain foods, and other issues to explain away a DUI charge. Are these with or without foundation?

We can appreciate the voluntary progression from sobriety to intoxication, with the accumulation of alcohol in the bloodstream leading to impairment of mental facilities, intoxication, and/or physical and mental impairment. Under normal conditions, this process is progressive and somewhat predictable for each individual.

This workshop is designed for a wide range of participants. It will discuss observed behavior and safety issues far beyond the assessments made by using a known BAC level and invalid assumptions. The workshop explores the common myths and misconceptions of the frequently abused drug, alcohol.

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