Risk Reduction and Prevention

Moderate Drinking Guidelines

  • Count your drinks and aim for BAC .05 or below
  • 0-1-2-4 Rule: 0 (underage or pregnant) 1 (females per day) 2 (males per day) 4 (no more than 4 days per week)

Strategies to Reduce the Risk from Drinking

  • Set a drinking limit near BAC .05
  • Experiment with drinking less and refusing drinks
  • Keep track of how much you consume by counting “standard drinks”
  • Eat before and while you are drinking (eating after doesn’t help much)
  • Be cautious when drinking liquor or mixed drinks due to high alcohol content
  • Alternate alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks
  • Avoid drinking games
  • Never leave your drink unattended
  • Don’t drink too much too fast
  • Don’t use alcohol with stimulants such as energy drinks
  • Space your drinks over time
  • Don’t drink while you’re sick or on medications
  • Don’t drink as a method of escaping or coping with stress – it’s not effective or helpful

Strategies to Reduce Environmental / Activity Risks

  • Select a designated driver who will not drink that night
  • Don’t drive after drinking
  • Refuse to ride in a car with an intoxicated driver
  • Don’t operate machinery after drinking alcohol
  • Be cautious in settings where large quantities of free or low-cost alcohol are available
  • Have an exit plan in mind before attending a drinking event
  • Don’t play sports after/while drinking alcohol
  • Don’t swim after drinking alcohol
  • Avoid drinking on rooftops, by open windows on upper floors, or by cliffs
  • Avoid drinking in remote areas
  • Let a nondrinker know where you will be if you go out drinking

Strategies to Reduce Risks Associated with Social Situations

  • Be prepared to refuse assertively when pressured to drink more than you want
  • Keep in mind that choosing not to drink is always a legitimate choice
  • Practice ways to be comfortable in social situations without drinking
  • Spend more time with friends who don’t drink heavily
  • Be aware of the legal risks of underage drinking
  • Be aware of university policies about drinking
  • Use the “buddy system” to watch out for each other
  • Take appropriate action if a friend passes out
  • Be cautious about drinking too much on dates, or where sex is a possibility
  • Don’t let others get you a drink or mix a drink for you