Alcohol Facts

In the United States, a standard drink is:

  • 1.5 ounces or a "shot" of 80-proof distilled spirits or liquor
  • 5 ounces of wine
  • 8 ounces of malt liquor
  • 12 ounces of beer

Underage Drinking

Underage drinking is a leading health concern in the United States, with more than 10 million children drinking each year. More young people consume alcohol than tobacco or illegal drugs. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 5,000 people under the age of 21 die because of underage drinking each year:

  • 1,900 deaths from motor vehicle crashes
  • 1,600 homicides
  • 300 suicides
  • Other fatal injuries such as falls, burns and drowning

Binge Drinking

Binge drinking is the most common form of excessive drinking. Binge drinking occurs when

  • Men drink five or more alcoholic drinks within two hours.
  • Women drink four or more drinks within two hours.

The CDC estimates that more than 38 million adults binge drink, most between the ages of 18 and 34 years old.

Last Updated 11/5/2013

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