If you’re planning on drinking
- Know what you’re drinking. A standard drink is a 12 oz. beer, a 5 oz. glass of wine and a 1.5 oz. shot of whiskey but many drinks contain much more alcohol than that! 1 cup ≠ 1 drink.
- Know your limit and stick to it. Make a plan of how many drinks you’re allowed and stick to it. 43.7% of students reported sticking to their set limit of drinks (1).
- Eat food before you drink and while you are drinking especially high protein food such as meat, cheese and peanuts. This will help slow(NOT PREVENT) the absorption of alcohol into your body.
- Pace yourself to a drink an hour – your body only eliminates.015% an hour which is about half a drink! Alternating between non-alcoholic beverages is also a good idea. Only 39.9% of students surveyed reported doing this (1).
- Avoid drinking games. This means avoiding chugging contests, beer pong, flip cup and other games that involve fast drinking. If you are going to play use something other than alcohol or have multiple members on a single team. Only 40.5% of students reported doing this (1).
On the road to doing the right thing
With more and more research supporting safe drinking habits, more and more students are reporting doing the right thing when it comes to drinking. In the most recent ACHA-NCHA survey, students reported some of the following safe drinking practices (1):
- 82% ate before or during drinking
- 90% stayed with their same group of friends the entire time
- 87% used a designated driving
- 70.3% kept track of the number of drinks they consumed
If you’re not drinking
- Volunteer to be the DUDE – Designated Unimpaired Driver Extraordinaire. You usually get free food!
- If you feel uncomfortable being the only “sober” one – take a friend who is also not drinking!
- If you don’t know what to do with your hands hold a solo cup with a non alcoholic beverage in it – no one has to know!
Party Host Etiquette
- Don’t ever let your friends drive after drinking. Take their keys, have them Crash There, have them ride home with someone else, call a cab, or do whatever else is necessary – but don’t let them drive!
- Be a good host by providing entertainment other than heavy drinking.
- Serve food. This de-emphasizes the importance of alcohol and also sends the message that intoxication is not desirable. Push snacks. Make sure that people are eating.
- Have a responsible bartender. If you plan to ask a friend or relative to act as bartender, make sure that person is not a drink pusher who encourages excessive consumption. You have both a moral and a legal responsibility to make sure that none of your guests drink too much.
- Be sure to offer a diversity of attractive non-alcohol drinks, especially for designated drivers.
- Respect someone’s choice not to drink – isn’t nagging and peer pressure more of a party foul.
- Be aware of all the laws regarding minors and social host liability laws: https://www.2young2drink.com/
SaferRide is a mobile app from National Highway Transportation Safety Administration that allows users to call a taxi or a friend so they can be picked up instead of driving impaired.
For Android devices, from Google Play store:
For Apple devices, from iTunes:
- American College Health Association, Fall 2019. National College Health Assessment, Undergraduate Student Reference Group. Available at: https://www.acha.org/documents/ncha/NCHA-II_SPRING_2019_US_REFERENCE_GROUP_EXECUTIVE_SUMMARY.pdf
Updated August 2021