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 / implied consumption (e.g., empty bottles) but no consumption shown
3 = character(s) is seen consuming alcohol (direct)
4 = passed out / hospitalized / intoxicated (slurred speech, trouble walking, etc.
Implied vs. Direct Alcohol Consumption
Implied alcohol consumption occurs when characters are not directly shown drinking, but drinking can be easily and directly inferred by the context of the situation shown. For example 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. Drinking may also be implied in a scene where a character comes home from a party or club and is obviously drunk or hung-over. Direct alcohol consumption occurs when a character is shown actively drinking an alcoholic beverage (lips touch the alcohol).
Statements or references to the harmful or addictive nature of alcohol products, e.g., “I heard drinking causes liver damage,” or “Don’t you know that drinking and driving can kill you?” or “You shouldn’t drink.”
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.
Alcohol Used in a Religious Ceremony
Code for alcohol consumed during a religious ceremony such as drinking wine during communion. However, do not consider drinking in the church yard as part of a ceremony.
Underage Character (Looks Under 21) Consumes Alcohol
A character that looks underage (minor) is shown or implied to have consumed alcohol in the scene.
If any character comments on or acts as a designated driver, code this according to their behavior. For example, verbal behavior includes reminding another character to have a designated driver or comments like “I was the DD last weekend,” “We need someone sober to drive us home,” or “We should get you a taxi home.” Physical behavior includes taking the keys away from someone or soberly driving intoxicated characters. References to designated drivers are coded as verbal.