College Students Over-Estimate Their Alcohol Consumption

College and university students may over-estimate, not under-estimate, their levels of alcohol consumption, contrary to common belief.

Researchers compared actual breathalyzer readings of students' breath alcohol concentrations (BAC) with their self-reports of alcohol consumption as they drank. Not only did students overestimate their alcohol consumption, but the degree of overestimation increased as the number of drinks and length of drinking time increased. Females' overestimates of their consumption were greater than that of males.


  • Kraus, C. L. et al. Inconsistencies between actual and estimated blood alcohol concentrations in a field study of college students: Do students really know how much they drink? Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, 2005, 29(9), 1672-1676.

Filed Under: College