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College Drinking: Students Pass Alcohol Quiz

In Survey, Most Students Accurately Reported How Much They Drank

Where's the Party?

What and where the students drank may have made a difference, notes White.

"Perhaps they were more likely to be drinking cans of beer or alcohol from restaurants and bars," says White of the students who took the on-campus breathalyzer tests.

"It could be that in this particular sample because they were on the campus, perhaps the amount of alcohol they were pouring themselves was relatively minimal."

"I think if we did this at off-campus parties, for instance, we might get something quite different because at off-campus parties where you have people pouring their own mixed drinks, drinking beer from kegs, that sort of thing, there's a lot more room for error," says White.

Actual and estimated blood alcohol levels were closest for students who only drank beer. "Since beer usually comes in a roughly standard serving size, it makes sense," says White.

Alcohol 101

"We clearly still have this problem where students, at least in a laboratory setting, have great difficulty pouring [standard-sized] drinks," says White.

"It suggests that we still need to continue to focus on education" about standard alcohol servings, he says.

College students aren't the only ones who need to learn that lesson, notes White. "This goes beyond college drinking. It has to do with educating the public."

It's also a good idea to consider the size of the cups or glasses you're using, suggests White.

"If you have a party and you want your guests to avoid unintentionally getting really intoxicated, you give reasonable-sized cups," he says. "You don't give a 32-ounce cup [for] a shot."

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