Friday, September 08, 2000

Ask a Stupid Question

It's not illegal to drink beer through straw

        People sip soda through a straw — iced tea, chocolate milk and most every other beverage, too. But no one sips beer through a straw. Is there some kind of law? Or does it really make you intoxicated faster?

        Good question, says Dr. Matt Sztajnkrycer, toxicology fellow with UC Physicians.

        Also a difficult question: It took a poll of his colleagues and an Internet search to come up with even a theory, let alone a final answer.

        “The toxicologists felt there is a potential, although small, that sipping through a straw could get you intoxicated faster. That's because sipping would preserve the carbonation, and that would help the stomach lining absorb the alcohol faster.

        “There's also a tendency to take bigger gulps through a straw, so you're getting a larger amount of alcohol at any given time. It doesn't have to do so much with the straw as it does with more alcohol at a faster rate.”

        The bottom line, however, remains there's no literature on it because no one has studied it.

        Nor is there a law against it. The Stupid Desk asked its favorite bartender, and he promised he would never call the police on someone for drinking beer through a straw. Might look at them funny, but never blow the whistle.

        If you have a stupid question, send it to Ask a Stupid Question, Cincinnati Enquirer, 312 Elm St., Cincinnati 45202; fax: 768-8330.


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