Skip to Main Content

The Sipping Point

Your Guide to Drinking Alcohol Responsibly

Do you know your sipping point?

It is the difference between drinking a safe amount and drinking too much.

Know the healthy guidelines, legal limit, and your personal habits when it comes to drinking alcohol. It is about understanding:


  • How much alcohol is in each drink?
  • How much alcohol is safe to consume?
  • How much is an ounce?
  • What is alcohol by volume?
  • What is a standard drink?
  • Am I drinking too much?

Get The Facts

The amount of alcohol in a drink and the time that you take to consume it determines how drunk, sick, or hungover you will get.

What’s a “Standard Drink”?

These facts might surprise you.

The amount of liquid in your glass, can, or bottle may not match up to how much alcohol is actually in your drink. Different types of beer, wine, or liquor can have varying amounts of alcohol content.

That’s why it’s important for you to know how much alcohol is in your drink.

Alcoholic beverages are packaged in everything from bottles to test tubes to freeze pops to boxes to pouches. It’s more important than ever to learn the right size and amount of alcohol in each standard drink. Below are typical standard drinks to use as your guide.

*Alcohol content may vary. Always read labels for accurate information.



Count those ounces.

Understand how many ounces are in a standard drink so you can track how much alcohol you are consuming. A drink should always be measured in ounces. 

How much alcohol is too much?

It is recommended adults 21 and over drink no more than 2 drinks a day for men and no more than 1 drink a day for women. There are some people who should not drink any alcohol including people under age 21, women who are pregnant, people with certain medical conditions or who are taking certain prescription or over the counter medications and people who are recovering from alcoholism.

It’s important to understand that excessive binge drinking has major physical, mental, financial, and social risk factors. Curious about your Sipping Point? Take this confidential alcohol screening quiz to see how your drinking habits compare to other adults.

More Tips. Less Tipsy.

A night out doesn’t have to cause regrets and a hangover. Use these helpful tips to pace yourself and stay in your Sipping Point:

  • Space out your drinks
  • Drink a large water between alcoholic beverages
  • Add seltzer, soda water, or other mixers to your alcohol
  • Measure your pour
  • Keep track of your drinks
  • Try new alcohol-free drinks or mocktails


Fun does not require alcohol. Be intentional about planning alcohol-free activities with friends and family. Here’s a few fun alternatives to consider:

  • Visit a state park and enjoy a picnic
  • Take a hike up one of Maine’s many beautiful peaks
  • Try something new like paddle boarding or axe throwing
  • Take up sledding or snowshoeing
  • Compete with the kids in a friendly game of horseshoes or wiffleball


Coping does not require alcohol. At the end of the day, we all need to find ways to manage stress and release tension. Build mindful, healthy habits to end your day that replace the need for an alcoholic drink. The habits below are relaxing and beneficial to your overall health.

  • Go for a walk outside
  • Pump up your jam on the car radio
  • Try an exercise video
  • Play with your kids or the dog or both
  • Vent to a friend
  • Dance it out
  • Read a book
  • Self-Care
  • Write a journal entry


Risks of Binge Drinking

Whether you drink once in a while or regularly, it’s important to know the health risks of drinking alcohol. Binge drinking is consuming a large amount of alcohol in a short amount of time. For women, binge drinking is having four or more drinks in a two-hour period. For men, five or more drinks in two hours is considered binge drinking.

Excessive drinking includes binge drinking, heavy drinking, and any drinking by pregnant women or people younger than age 21. (Source) Binge drinking can lead to serious health problems as well as relationship, family, employment, and financial problems.

  • Nausea, vomiting, choking
  • Acid reflux
  • Diarrhea
  • Alcohol poisoning
  • Hangover
  • Accidents
  • Relationship issues
  • High blood pressure
  • Dehydration
  • Weight gain
  • Blackouts
  • Increased risk of OUI
  • Increased risk of Sexually Transmitted Disease
  • Increased risk of death
  • Dependence
  • Addiction
  • Liver disease
  • Pancreatitis
  • Kidney failure
  • Malnutrition
  • Chronic high blood pressure
  • Increased risk of stroke
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Increased risk of 7 types of cancer
  • Increased risk of death
  • Increased risk of job loss
  • Increased risk of suicide

Ready to cut back your drinking?

Drinking has a sneaky way of taking over your life. There could be signs you need to cut back your drinking which may include:

Spending too much on drinks

Paying off a OUI

Paycheck never lasting until the next one

No cash for fun activities

Running late

Missing work

Off your game – making more mistakes, less energy

Losing your job

Choosing drinking over family

Losing old friends

Setting an example of heavy drinking for kids and others in your life

Needing alcohol for a good time

Operating Under the Influence Arrest

Jail Time

Court-ordered alcohol treatment

Loss of custody of children

Cutting back on drinking can help you:

  • Improve your health
  • Lose weight
  • Save money
  • Avoid hangovers or illness
  • Keep your job and perform better at work
  • Repair a relationship
  • Avoid serious legal problems

If you think you’re drinking too much, it’s not too late to make changes.

Ready To Quit?

Getting help for alcohol dependence takes courage. Even by thinking about seeking help for yourself or a loved one is a big step.

Help is here 24/7. Call 211 to get started today.