Do People Drink Beer for the Taste or the Buzz? #DUIDefenseAttorney

Brian StrongBrian Strong, Criminal Defense Attorney in Arizona, DUI & Traffic Defense AttorneyLeave a Comment

As a DUI defense attorney it doesn’t matter why a particular drink is chosen, it is the effect of your choice that matters. So, if beer is the drink you want at the weekend barbeque or while watching the ball game, have you ever wondered whether if it is the alcohol or the taste that makes you crave a cold beer?

In April of 2013, the Indiana University School of Medicine published a study (click here to read) that indicates that beer’s flavor alone (with zero effect from the alcohol) can lead the brain to release dopamine.

Dopamine is a chemical inside the brain that is associated with pleasure. Several studies have linked dopamine to drug and alcohol abuse and, as noted in the Indiana study: “Sensory cues that are closely associated with drug intoxication (such as tastes and smells, or the sight of a tavern) have long been known to spark cravings and induce treatment relapse in recovering alcoholics. Many neuroscientists believe that dopamine plays a critical role in such cravings.”

Each Indiana study participant received a very small amount of his preferred beer over a 15-minute time period. This methodology enabled the participants to taste the beer yet there was “no detectable blood-alcohol level or intoxicating effect.”
Each participant received two brain scans. During one scan, the participant was tasting beer. During the second scan, he tasted Gatorade. “The scans showed significantly more dopamine activity following the taste of beer than the sports drink.” These findings are especially interesting when one considers that “many thought the Gatorade actually tasted better.” The study further noted that the dopamine response was most pronounced in the men with a family history of alcoholism.

The DUI defense lawyers at Rowley Chapman & Barney, Ltd., seek to stay current on this type of research. Knowing what causes people to consume alcohol gives us a better understanding of how these issues affect our clients.
Anyone arrested for DUI, or another related charge, should immediately contact a criminal defense attorney familiar with Arizona DUI laws. For more information about the crime of DUI or about your legal rights, contact Rowley Chapman & Barney, Ltd., today.

Attorney Profile: Brian D. Strong, DUI Defense Attorney

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