The Domino Strategy



Through an ongoing effort to increase awareness on “responsible drinking”, the Richland County DUI Task Force has been promoting The Domino Strategy. Reasonable drinking guidelines look at the safe & healthy number of drinks for men & women, the standard serving size and alcohol content to support “responsible drinking”. The Domino Strategy encourages people to pay attention to the number, size, and content of alcohol they consume.

No alcohol for people who are: Under 21, operating any type of vehicle or machinery, pregnant, trying to become pregnant or breastfeeding, recovering alcoholics or drug dependant or using certain medications. No more than one standard drink per day for women and no more than two standard drinks per day for men. When you consume more than the recommended amount of alcohol you are putting yourself and others at risk.

The Domino Strategy defines standard drinks as the following: 12 ounces of a beer with 5% alcohol content, 5 ounces of wine with 12% alcohol content, or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof liquor with 40% alcohol content. For specialty beers, such as microbrews with an alcohol content up to 14% a standard serving size is 4 to 6 ounces.

So why is this important to know? The body can only process one standard drink of alcohol per hour. If more than one standard drink of alcohol is consumed in an hour, the body stores that extra alcohol it cannot process in the blood stream. When there is more alcohol in the blood stream than the body can process, this is what causes intoxication.

This becomes particularly difficult to measure when drinking mixed alcohol beverages, as many of them have different amounts of alcohol. A 9 ounce Bloody Mary has 2 standard drinks. A 5 ounce margarita has 2.5 standard drinks, a 6 ounce Long Island Iced Tea has 4 standard drinks, and a strawberry daiquiri has 4 standard drinks. This is when consumers need to pay attention to how much the body can process alcohol. Drinking one of these beverages ensures that one is receiving more than one standard drink per hour, meaning their body will take longer than one hour to process the alcohol.

The message is clear: When responsible drinking guidelines are not followed, a “domino effect” of negative outcomes can happen. Just like one domino tips the next, a chain reaction begins to occur. It can be the same with drinking. With each drink, there is a deterioration of judgment, alertness, self-control, reasoning and memory. It becomes harder to detect danger and make good decisions. The Richland County DUI Task Force thanks you for taking time to raise your awareness about “Responsible Drinking” and reminds you never to “Drink ‘n Drive”….for a safe ride home call Sidney Shuttle at 433-3636.

The Richland County DUI Task Force represents a diverse cross-section of the community including citizens, government officials, law enforcement, health professional, prevention and treatment specialist, business professionals and others. The DUI Task Force is dedicated to promoting a healthier and safer environment for the residents of Richland County by reducing injuries and fatalities from impaired driving related crashes through public education and awareness. All meetings are open to the public and all residents of our community are welcome to share concerns, comments and ideas. The task force is looking for community members who would like to be part of the task force….if you are interested in helping make your community a healthier and safer environment for your loved ones please contact Mary Friesz at Richland County Health Department 433-2207, [email protected] or visit us at


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