Moderation needed when mixing altitude, alcohol | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Moderation needed when mixing altitude, alcohol

Jillian De Lallo

Whether sipping on that martini or drinking a beer, the higher the altitude, the easier it is to drink too much.

With the Fourth of July weekend here, health experts, law officers and bar managers urge the importance of drinking responsibly and moderately.

Alcohol-related accidents increase during the holiday seasons at the lake said Barton Memorial Hospital Nursing Supervisor Angela Moore. She said she sees people come into the hospital for “boating or motor vehicle accidents and fighting.”

Though drinking was once allowed at Nevada Beach on July 4, it was outlawed two years ago. Anyone in possession of alcoholic beverages can be fined for up to $1,000.

The alcohol-free Nevada Beach is trying to promote more of a family atmosphere, according to Douglas County sheriff’s Sgt. Dan Britton. When alcohol was allowed there were more college-aged people. Along with the alcohol and young crowd came fights.

Britton said when it comes to drinking this holiday weekend “do it in moderation and certainly don’t drive.” He suggests those who are going to drink to call cabs or assign designated drivers.

“People who aren’t used to this altitude aren’t used to breathing the thin air,” he said.

At higher altitudes, alcohol “usually makes people more tired,” Moore said. “It may take less to make them (intoxicated).”

The bar manager of Zephyr Cove Resort Carl Moore said alcohol tends to draw out the moisture in the body.

“The worst thing people can do is just drinking and being in the sun,” he said, adding that at Tahoe’s altitude more water is necessary to stay hydrated.

Paula East-Janicki from the Sierra Recovery Center sees an increase in people enrolling into DUI programs within a month or two after major holidays, after people have gone to court for their holiday arrests.


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