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Alcohol Safety: How Much is One Drink?

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Alcohol Safety: How Much is One Drink?

The Holiday Spirits: Your Guide to Drinking Responsibly

With the holiday season in full swing, there are plenty of holiday dinners, parties, and get-togethers. Along with bringing feelings of joy and togetherness, there is also often excessive drinking involved.

With alcohol-related car accidents spiking between Christmas and New Year’s, it is important for adults to take extra precautions. In light of National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month, the experts at Ridgecrest Regional Hospital are here to share some tips to help you drink responsibly this holiday season.

What is Considered “One” Drink?

When drinking alcohol, it enters your bloodstream after being absorbed in the stomach and intestines. Once the alcohol is in your blood, the liver enzymes alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) and aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) work to break down and eliminate it from the body.

The amount of alcohol you consume does not influence your body’s ability to remove it from your bloodstream—your body will only be able to break down a certain amount of it each hour. This is why it is considered a standard that your body can handle breaking down one drink every hour.

However, what constitutes “on” drink heavily depends on the type of alcohol being consumed.

Liquor & Distilled Spirits

Although there are a multitude of different types of liquor and distilled spirits with different alcohol contents, the recommended serving size is the same. A 1.5 oz shot glass is considered one drink.

Beer and Hard Ciders

Beer and hard ciders are another drink category where the alcohol content can vary. However in most instances, beer will have an alcohol content of roughly 5%. In this instance, one 12 oz glass of beer or hard cider is considered a single serving.


Wine also varies in alcohol content, but on average is about 12%. When pouring a single serving of wine, you should aim for a 5 oz glass.

Primary Care in Ridgecrest, California

At Ridgecrest Regional Hospital, our team of highly trained and experienced family physicians and internists is dedicated to providing healthcare services to patients of all ages in Ridgecrest and surrounding areas.

To learn more about our primary care services or schedule an appointment, visit our website or give us a call at (760) 446-3551 (Mon-Fri 8 AM-4:30 PM).

If you struggle with substance abuse, call (760) 449-3358 to learn how our team at Ridgecrest Regional Hospital can help you to overcome addiction.