Code Book
Alcohol Code Book

Alcohol Code Book

Definition of Alcohol Content

The portrayal of anything alcohol-related in the scene, ranging from signs, billboards, and logos to the direct depiction of a character consuming alcohol.

Scale used to Code Explicitness of Alcohol Use

1 = signs, billboards, bottle caps, logos, alcohol products seen in non-use setting, or drinking references
2 = alcohol shown / inferred consumption (i.e. empty bottles) but no consumption shown
3 = character(s) consumes alcohol
4 = character(s) has many drinks / shots (many = more than 1 glass/shot/swig)
(chugging is considered to be more than 1 swig)
5 = character has passed out / been hospitalized / is visibly drunk (slurred speech, trouble walking, etc.)

Implied vs. Direct Alcohol Consumption

Implied alcohol consumption occurs when characters are not explicitly shown drinking, but drinking can be easily and directly inferred from the context of the situation shown. An example would be a character sitting in front of an open beer bottle or holding a glass of wine, where the physical act of consumption is not shown. Another example of implied drinking would include a scene where a character comes home from a party or club and is obviously drunk or hungover. Direct alcohol consumption occurs when a character is shown actively drinking an alcoholic beverage (lips touch the alcohol).

Underage Character (Looks Under 21) Consumes Alcohol

A character that looks underage is shown or implied to have consumed alcohol in the scene.

Negative Effects of Alcohol Shown

These affect the user of alcohol. For example, a character vomits due to alcohol, falls down or is unable to walk, passes out, has problems sleeping, is hungover, or gets in a fight because of alcohol consumption.

Anti-Alcohol Statements / Messages

Telling one or more characters that they shouldn’t drink. Statements such as “don’t drink and drive” or “friends know when to say when,” as well as bartenders telling customers “you’ve had enough” or any other such messages.

Refusal of Alcohol

A character is offered alcohol or asked if they want something to drink (implied alcoholic beverage) and they say “no” or non-verbally indicate no.

Alcohol Used in the Presence of Children

There are people in the room that are obviously underage while alcohol is being consumed.

Drinking and Driving

Pertains to scenes where the character has consumed alcohol during or immediately before driving, or is obviously drunk or impaired by the effects of alcohol while operating a vehicle.

Sexual Behavior and Alcohol

Any sexual behavior, including kissing and sexual touching, taking place under the influence of alcohol (the character does not have to be drunk). Code this if any alcohol was recently consumed prior to engaging in sexual behavior or if alcoholic beverages/containers are present during the act.

Alcohol Type

Code for which type of alcohol is consumed. For example, if there is a character holding an open bottle of beer and an unopened champagne bottle elsewhere in the scene, only the beer would be coded as consumed.

Characters Are Drunk in This Scene

Characters are defined as drunk when they exhibit physical characteristics indicating that they have consumed enough alcohol to impair themselves (i.e. slurred speech, trouble walking, boisterousness, etc.) Also included are self-declarations or other characters stating that a person is “drunk” or “tipsy.”

Alcohol Used in a Religious Setting

Code for alcohol consumed in a religious setting.

Positive Effects of Alcohol Shown

Euphoric or favorable effects on the user’s health or well-being (laughing, smiling, singing, etc.) are portrayed as consequences of alcohol consumption. These are scenes that convey some type of enjoyment or pleasure associated with alcohol, such as verbal cues: “This stuff is awesome,” “I’m loving this,” “It feels great.” Smiling would be somewhat positive while laughing is very positive.

Reactions to Alcohol Shown

These are reactions by the non-users of alcohol in the segment. On an overall scale, rate the instances of reactions to the use of or discussion about alcohol. Negative reactions may be physically or verbally showing disdain, discomfort, or disgust at the sight or thought of alcohol. Positive reactions may include enjoyment, encouragement, or reinforcing statements: “you’ll like this,” “that looks like fun.”

Alcohol Location

Code for alcohol that is consumed in a dwelling or non-dwelling location.