Could the Popularity of Craft Beers Lead to More DUIs?
It seems like just yesterday that your choices in beer were limited to imports and domestics, and brands like Budweiser and Heineken ruled the bar scene. While these and other beer manufacturers still dominate the industry, the recent trend of craft brewing has turned from a fad into a full-blown industry. While each of these beers is unique by design, many do share one common trait – a high alcohol by volume content, or ABV. As Indiana DUI defense attorneys, we naturally asked ourselves, “Could the high alcohol content of these beers lead to more DUI arrests?”
The Prevalence of Craft BeersAccording to the official website of the Brewer’s Association, there were approximately 80 craft breweries here in Indiana in 2014, putting us 14th nationwide. This is near twice the amount of craft breweries that existed just three years prior, signaling the rapid growth of this industry. The Brewers of Indiana Guild puts this number even higher at 120 breweries.
The Alcohol Content of Craft BeersA research group called Mintel found a 319% increase in the number of new beers with more than 6.5% ABV from 2011 to 2014. These beers now represent nearly 50% of all new beer releases, at a time when new beers are being released rapidly. Many craft beers are far more alcoholic, weighing in at 8%, 9%, and even as much as 18% ABV! Compare this with the alcohol content of some popular beers:
- Budweiser – 5% ABV
- Bud Light – 4.2% ABV
- Guinness Draught – 4% ABV
- Michelob Ultra – 4.2% ABV