Low Risk vs. High Risk Drinking

Low Risk

If alcohol is consumed, it should be consumed in moderation. This means:

For women: No more than 3 drinks on any single day, AND no more than 7 drinks per week.
For men: No more than 4 drinks on any single day, AND no more than 14 drinks per week.

It's important to know that “low risk” is not no risk. As a matter of fact, even within these limits, people can still have problems if they drink too quickly, have health problems, or are older. Based on your health and how alcohol affects you, you may need to drink less, or not at all.

When is “low-risk” drinking too much?

High Risk

Drinking more than the single-day or weekly limits is considered “at-risk” drinking.


Binge Drinking 

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse & Alcoholism (NIAAA) defines binge drinking as drinking so much within a 2 hour limit that your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels raise to 0.08 g/dL. This usually occurs at the high-risk drinking levels. The Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) defines binge drinking as drinking 5 or more alcoholic drinks on the same occasion.

Drinking this way can pose serious risks.