How Much is Too Much?

Your limit is an individual decision based on health and safety risks, the legal risks, the setting, and your responsibilities.  Some important things to keep in mind include:

  • The latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend drinking less than one drink per day for women and less than two drinks per day for men, however this does not mean saving all of the drinks for the weekend is recommended. It’s actually more healthy to drink moderately regularly than to abstain from drinking, and then binge on special occasions.
  • Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) measures the percentage of alcohol in the bloodstream.  BAC varies by sex and weight. The higher your BAC, the higher your level of impairment. If you know your BAC, you can stop before your judgment is impaired and before you feel sick and throw up. Calculate your BAC.
  • If you've increased the amount you can drink without feeling the effects, you're developing tolerance.  Tolerance is a symptom of alcohol dependence, and it has NO impact on your body's ability to process alcohol.  Your BAC is still rising, even if you don't feel the effects.  The higher your tolerance, the less you can tell that you are impaired.
  • Binge drinking is defined as having four or more drinks (for women) or five or more drinks (for men) on an occasion.


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