Low-Risk Drinking

Drink Defined

Standard Drink Sizes

High Risk Drinking Defined

Underage Drinking: Any use of alcohol by youth who are under age 21

Binge Drinking: 5+ drinks in 2 hours for males; 4+ drinks in 2 hours for females

Heavy Drinking: Exceeds 2 drinks per day for males; Exceeds 1 drink per day for females

Moderate Drinking Infographic

CDC Moderate Drinking Infographic


CDC Alcohol Use & Your Health Infographic

CDC Alcohol Use & Your Health Infographic

[title size=”2″]Low Risk Drinking Guide[/title]

The Shared Future Coalition offers this Low Risk Drinking Guide as a tool for people who want to keep their alcohol use in balance with their health and safety.

This guide blends elements of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism’s low risk drinking limits.


  • ZERO drinks for those who
    • are under the age of 21
    • are driving, cycling, or operating equipment
    • who have medical issues (pregnancy, diabetes, in recovery, conflicting medications, etc.)
  • ONE drink per hour is about all our bodies can process
  • Limiting drinking to TWO times per week results in less negative consequences for young adults ages 21 to 25
  • THREE drinks or less on a special occasion reduces the likelihood of experiencing alcohol-related problems

Research shows that people who start drinking alcohol before the age of 15 are five times more likely to develop alcohol dependence or abuse later in life than those who begin drinking at or after age 21 years. Young adults who are ages 21 and over who keep their alcohol use in the low-risk drinking limits are healthier, less depressed, have fewer social problems and fewer difficulties at school or work.

*”0-1-2-3″ concept used with permission from Randy Haveson, creator of “Party with a Plan“.

Daily/Weekly Low-Risk Drinking Limits

Guide from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

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