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The Queensland Government is now in caretaker mode until after the state election. Minimal updates will be made to this site until after the election results are declared.

Standard drinks

Australia's national alcohol guidelines use the 'standard drink' as a measure of alcohol consumed. One standard drink is defined as containing 10 grams of alcohol.

The number of standard drinks in a serving of alcohol varies between type, size, brand, packaged or poured drinks. If you are unsure, read the label. Alcohol packaging must state the number of standard drinks that the product contains.

If you are buying beer, ale, or stout in a glass or jug, these should be marked to indicate how many millilitres they contain. Spirits should be dispensed in fixed quantities of either 15ml or 30ml.

Be careful of the size of the glass that your alcohol has been served in – don’t assume that your glass holds 1 standard drink. If possible pour your own drinks or look for the line on the glass for a standard pour when you're out.

While these standard measurements should help, you also need to remember alcohol tolerance varies depending on your size, fitness, mood, drinking experience, food intake, and gender.

Number of standard drinks by alcohol type

Alcohol type

Serving size

Standard drinks

Beer—full strength (4.8%)

285ml pot

1.1

375ml can / stubbie

1.4

Beer—mid strength (3.5%)

285ml pot

0.8

375ml can / stubbie

1

Beer—low strength or 'light' (2.7%)

285ml pot

0.6

375ml can / stubbie

0.8

Red wine (13%)

100ml glass

1

Average restaurant serving (150ml)

1.5

White wine (11.5%)

100ml glass

0.9

Average restaurant serving (150ml)

1.4

Spirits (40%)

1 nip (30ml)

1

Pre-mixed drinks (5-7%)

275ml bottle

1.1–1.5

375ml can

1.5–2.1

Adapted from the National Standard Drinks Guide.

National alcohol guidelines

Australia's alcohol guidelines help people make informed decisions about low risk alcohol consumption.

Healthy adults

Drinking no more than 2 standard drinks on any day reduces the lifetime risk of harm from alcohol-related disease or injury.

Drinking no more than 4 standard drinks on a single occasion reduces the risk of alcohol-related injury arising from that occasion.

Children under 18 years

Not drinking alcohol is the safest option. Children under 15 years of age are at the greatest risk of harm from drinking and for this age group, not drinking alcohol is especially important.

Young people aged 15−17 years should aim to delay the start of drinking for as long as possible.

In Australia, you must be 18 years or older to purchase alcohol or drink alcohol in a licensed premises.

Pregnant and breastfeeding women

Not drinking alcohol is the safest option for women who are planning a pregnancy, pregnant, or breastfeeding.

Read more about alcohol during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.

Licence
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia (CC BY 3.0)
Last updated
4 September 2015
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