last updated: October 19, 2017
Responsible drinking

Moderate drinking guidelines are set by governments, so that any potential harm to the human body is minimized and any potential benefit is maximized.

Exemptions: young, combinations with certain medications, if pregnant, untreated high blood pressure, history of addiction, mental illness or breast cancer.

Moderate drinking guidelines are daily, and in some cases recommend alcohol free days (WHO guidelines). Some guidelines include recommendations to drink with food, to alternate alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks and ‘to pace’ drinking.

Consumers need to be able understand ‘drinks’ and ‘units’ in order to be able to adequately assess their intake. Moderate drinking recommendations offer personal consumption guides - whereas:

Responsible drinking means drinking enjoyably, sociably and sensibly, awareness of risk of consumption to others - and when not to drink at all

As a parent it means being aware of the risks of drinking to young people and setting an example of moderation.

- It means avoiding the antisocial consequences of drinking to excess
It means not drinking and driving
It means not drinking in inappropriate circumstances (electrical, at heights, heavy machinery)
It means not drinking when pregnant

    This section provides a selection of programmes and initiatives that aim to increase awareness of moderation and responsible drinking.

If you would like to submit a report, programme or link for this section, please email

All text and images © 2003 Alcohol In Moderation.