Ohio’s growing craft beer industry has likely been a subject of your Christmas discussions. You may have even sampled many of Ohio’s fine products. We should continue to promote that growth but we must be mindful of the dangers of beer over 12 percent alcohol by volume (ABV). Beer over 12 percent ABV, which is Ohio’s current limit will have a very different impact on the human brain and body than our average light beer or craft beers currently on the market. We must work to ensure the growing industry remains a positive force on Ohio’s economy.
My New Years Resolution is to stop the movement for easy access to drugs and highly intoxicating substances. When you think about the impacts of beer over 12 percent ABV, it is very easy to understand why some people call this type of alcohol black-out beer. Some legislators want to legalize black-out beer so that consumers can have more options. Unfortunately, this is a move that could jeopardize the future of this very important industry.
To understand why this is a problem you have to consider the impacts of ABV on a person’s body when they drink. Alcohol by Volume is the percentage of alcohol per specific amount of an alcoholic beverage, directly measured by the level of pure ethanol present in 100 milliliters of a beverage at 20 degrees Celsius (or 68 degrees Fahrenheit). To make this simple, the higher the ABV the more similar this product is to the ethanol in our regular gasoline used to fill up our cars. As the level increases the impact on our bodies multiplies.
Legislators interested in increasing the ABV limit in Ohio are considering an increase to 21 percent ABV. This would be nearly double our current limit which has provided consumers many different beer options. This increase would allow for a 12 oz. beer that, according to the Cleveland Clinic Blood Alcohol Content Calculator, could possibly leave a normal 150 lb person unable to safely and legally operate a motor vehicle if consumed over three hours. To provide some perspective, that same person could have drank up to 4 average light beers in that same amount of time and they may be considered safe and legal to drive.
Alcohol consumption should remain a decision left to responsible adults over the age of 21. Allowing a beer with this level of potency on the market raises concerns because of the potential for an unsuspecting individual to consume large quantities of this type of beer without proper notice of the potential consequences. Like with any alcohol product discretion and safety should be paramount.
Responsible legislative measures to improve the craft beer industry should remain a focus. We have taken a number of these steps in the past several years, including the creation of the A-1c permit that allows for a smaller brewer to compete outside of the normal constrains of Ohio’s major brewers. In addition, we have legalized entertainment districts to allow for the open consumption of beer in certain designated areas and the ability to consume alcoholic beverages on the popular pedal wagons found in certain parts of Ohio.
I have made it a resolution this new year to stop the movement for easy access to drugs and highly intoxicating substances. You can learn more about my new year’s resolution and join the effort by visiting tinyurl.com/buchystandingstrong
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