What is a Standard Drink?

Standard drink sizes of different types of alcohol.


Many college students have not thought very much about what counts as a drink.  The volume of liquid in your glass, can, or bottle does not necessarily equal to how much alcohol is actually in your drink.  Differing types of alcohol (beer, wine, hard liquor, or malt liquor) can have very different levels of alcohol content. It is important to know how much alcohol your drink contains so that you are able to drink moderately and stay in control of your actions and safety.  In the U.S., one "standard" drink contains roughly 14 grams of pure alcohol, which is found in:

  • 12 ounces of regular beer, which is usually about 5% alcohol
  • 5 ounces of wine, which is typically about 12% alcohol
  • 1.5 ounces of hard liquor, which is about 40% alcohol

The percent of alcohol in a drink is referred to as alcohol by volume (alc/vol) and it varies by beverage.

For assistance, contact the Jag Intervention & Recovery at  (251) 460-7051.