Drinking games are games that involve drinking alcohol. They are designed to encourage players to drink large amounts of alcohol in a short amount of time. This combination can, and has been, fatal for youth and young adults in the United States. While there are many different types of drinking games, some of the most popular are “Beer Pong,” “Civil War,” “Flip Cup” and “Keg Stands.” Here’s what you need to know about drinking games:
Drinking games encourage binge drinking. Binge drinking occurs when a male consumes 5 or more drinks, or a female consumes 4 or more drinks, in about two hours. Drinking games such as “Edward 40 Hands” involve drinking two 40 oz. beers (~6.6 drinks) as quickly as possible. Heavy drinking at midnight on young adults’ 21st birthday led Minnesota to prohibit alcohol sales until 8:00am for individuals turning 21.
Binge drinking often leads to risky behavior, even death. Drinking a large amount of alcohol in a short amount of time may result in numerous consequences including: academic failure; unplanned and unprotected sex; property damage, impaired driving and other crimes; injury and death. While alcohol is the primary concern, a recent study also found salmonella, e. Coli and staph germs on the pingpong balls used in “Beer Pong” games.
Some bars and restaurants promote drinking games. Drinking games are often played at parties. However, it is not uncommon to also see some of the most popular drinking games promoted at bars and restaurants. Some offer a safe ride home, but it is still illegal to serve or sell alcohol to someone who is obviously intoxicated. The City of Mankato, Minnesota has banned games and contests involving alcohol at bars and restaurants.
For more on drinking games, see:
- Business Insider. Here are all the Drinking Games Being Played on College Campuses. http://www.businessinsider.com/most-popular-drinking-games-for-students-2013-4.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Fact Sheets – Binge Drinking. http://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/binge-drinking.htm.
- City of Mankato. City Code – 4. Liquor and Beer Licensing and Regulations. http://www.mankato-mn.gov/CityCode/Chapter-4.aspx.
- Harvard School of Public Health. Consequences of Binge Drinking. http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/magazine/winter09bingingproblems/.
- New York Daily News. Beer pong games carry risk of salmonella, e. Coli and staph germs, research finds. http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/beer-pong-games-carry-risk-salmonella-e-coli-germs-article-1.1317048.