Quick test: do you drink too much?

Whenever I go out for dinner or drinks with friends, we end up doing some sort of basic math calculation.

“There was the cocktail at the bar, then the three of us shared a bottle of white wine over dinner, and I had the glass of champagne at home first… so that’s, what 4 standard drinks? Or is it 5? How many standard drinks are in a cocktail?”

It’s a pointless exercise, when the most painless answer all along is always: budget and plan for an Uber.


Safe driving strategies notwithstanding, doing ‘alcohol maths’ is something that many of us do to keep track of our drinking.

But perhaps, we should be taking a longer view. There’s now a simple test we can do, designed to check whether our ongoing drinking habits are bordering on unhealthy.

Alcohol Think Again has released a “5 Minute drinking audit” that invites you to anonymously catalogue your regular drinking habits.

Here’s the deal, though. To make it worthwhile, you have to be really truthful with your answers… and I mean, really truthful. It’s a little bit uncomfortable and I must admit, I was nervous about getting my results.

For instance, it asks, “How many drinks containing alcohol do you have on a typical day when you are drinking?”

My initial inclination was to click the “3-4 drinks” response. This is an accurate response. Well, it is partially accurate.

If I’m being really honest, I need to factor in the size of my at-home alcohol pour (you can find out how your own standard pour measures up here) – because it’s at least the size of two standard drinks.

Even the serve of alcohol that a restaurant or bar dishes up is generally more than one standard drink, with the average pour measuring up to around 1.5 units of alcohol.

Therefore, my “3-4 drinks” could easily constitute 6-8 standard alcoholic drinks.

When you consider the fact that consuming 4 standard drinks officially lands you in the category of “binge drinking”, it’s easy to see how our culturally approved past time of swilling booze for every social occasion could become problematic.

How does your regular drinking stack up? Take the test here.