Standard Drinks: Why Understanding Them is Important.

What are standard drinks? Why is knowing about them important?

1. What are standard drinks?

standard drinksA standard drink is any of these.

    • 12-ounce bottle or can of regular beer.
    • 5-ounce glass of dinner wine.
    • A shot (one and 1/2 ounce) of spirits (liquor).

Each standard drink of beer, wine and spirits has the same amount of pure alcohol. (6/10th of one ounce.) It’s called alcohol equivalence.

Who supports alcohol equivalence? Federal government agencies. Also national health and safety groups that fight alcohol abuse. They include these.

4. Why is knowing about drink equivalence important?

Knowing alcohol equivalence helps us make wise decisions. Knowing about it also helps us understand that there is no drink of moderation. There are only behaviors of moderation.

Knowing that standard drinks are all the same to a breath tester is very important. It can help us avoid driving while impaired. And that can prevent us from having trouble with the law. But much more important, it can prevent injuries and save lives. Perhaps our own life.

At this point you know much more about alcohol equivalence than most people!

Know of any fact that should be included? If so, please contact hansondj [at sign] potsdam [dot] edu/. And thank you for doing so.