Guidelines for Low Risk Drinking
Small changes can make a big difference in reducing your chances of having alcohol related problems. Which of these strategies are you willing to try?
- Pre-Plan. Decide in advance how much you will drink and stick to that amount.
- Keep track. Keep track of the number, frequency, and amount of drinks you consume.
- Know your standard drinks. Measure all drinks according to “standard drinks.”
- Pace drinks. Pace how much you will drink. For example, limit yourself to one drink every hour or so. Be realistic with your pacing goal.
- Space drinks. Alternate your alcoholic beverages with non-alcoholic beverages such as water, tea or soda.
- Avoid binge drinking. Avoid consuming a large amount of alcohol over a short period of time. This means skipping most drinking games such as “beer pong,” “quarters” and “flip cup.”
- Eat food. Avoid consuming alcohol on an empty stomach; eat food when you are drinking.
- Three max. Try to stick to no more than three alcoholic drinks per drinking occasion.
- Abstain. Abstain from alcohol on occasion.
- Designated driver. Be the designated driver on occasion.
PLEASE NOTE: A designated drive IS NOT the least intoxicated person in a group; a designated driver is a person who does not drink alcohol, in any amount, while responsible for the transportation (e.g., cars and boats!) of others!
- 0-0-1-3. Follow the 0-0-1-3 rule; Learn about 0-0-1-3.
- Be assertive. Encourage your friends to slow down or stop if you notice they are drinking too much or too quickly.
- Safe travel one. Find an alternative means of travel (i.e., taxi, sober friend) if you have been drinking.
- Safe travel two. Never travel as a passenger in a vehicle with a driver you know has been drinking.
The guidelines above on low-risk drinking do not apply if you:
- Have health problems such as liver disease or mental illness.
- Are taking medications such as sedatives, painkillers, sleeping pills, cough and cold medicines or medications for mental illness.
- Have a personal or family history of drinking problems.
- Have a family history of cancer or other risk factors for cancer.
- Are pregnant, trying to get pregnant or are breastfeeding.
- Will be operating a vehicle such as cars, trucks, motorcycles, boats, snowmobiles or bicycles.
- Will be doing activities where you are responsible for the safety of others.
- Will be doing activities involving guns or other weapons (e.g., hunting).
- Will be doing activities around water such as swimming or scuba diving.
- Are told not to drink for legal, medical or other reasons.