The craft beer market has exploded. It has helped revitalize the Greater Grand Rapids area, and we are known as “Beer City”. In fact, there are 43 breweries in the Greater Grand Rapids area, five cideries, seven distilleries and two meaderies.

But let’s just focus on the craft beers.

Domestic beer such as Bud or Miller Lite comes in at 4.2 percent alcohol. Craft beer usually has a much higher percentage, with a content of anywhere from 2 to 20 percent—or even higher.

One of the strongest beers is the Scottish Brewmeister Armageddon, which has an astonishing alcohol percentage of 65 percent. However, most local craft breweries, even with their specialty, limited editions and seasonal brews, do not include anywhere near that much alcohol, but they almost always have more than the average domestic beer.

The consumer research group Mintel found that the average alcohol content of craft beer is 5.9 percent. Here is an example: If you’re drinking a 17.5 percent Samuel Adams Triple Bock, a 12–ounce serving clocks in at way more than 14 grams of alcohol. So, while you may think you’re drinking one beer, you’re actually drinking the equivalent of 3.5 drinks. Two 16 oz. beers can easily put you over the Michigan .08 blood alcohol level.

Knowing exactly how much you’re drinking, after all, is the first step in managing your alcohol consumption. Most breweries post the alcohol content on their beer menus. So, think before you have that second beer. Check the alcohol content and be safe. AND, if you even think you have had too much, or friends mention your behavior, call an Uber or Lyft to get home.

Being arrested for “Operating While Under the Influence” is not how you would want to end your night. Your blood alcohol level must be under .08 to drive a motor vehicle. If it is over this, you will be arrested if you are pulled over. If your blood alcohol level is over .17, you will be facing super drunk consequences.

The average cost of a drunk driving conviction can cost from $7,000.00 to upwards of $15,000.00. You lose your driving privileges for at least a month, be on probation, possible random observed drug testing, and community service hours.

So, enjoy that one craft beer. Be safe for yourself, those you care about and everyone else on the road. However, help is available if you need it.

Get these helpful articles in your inbox.