Location: Bowdoin / Office of the Dean of Students / alcohol-and-drug / alcohol-basics

Office of the Dean of Students

Alcohol Basics

Wondering about your relationship with alcohol? 

Worried that you might be struggling with alcohol addiction or dependence? Check out this Online Screening Tool.

Know your BAC

Blood Alcohol Concentration is the percentage of your blood volume that is alcohol. If you choose to drink, the safest option is to know how much alcohol your drink contains and limit the amount of alcohol you are consuming within a given time frame.

Let's Define a Drink

A standard drink contains ½ ounce of pure alcohol – a little more than the average amount of alcohol the body can metabolize in an hour.


A BAC below 0.05 enables a drinker to feel the positive effects of alcohol without minimizing their judgment or increasing their risk of negative outcomes.

Some tips for keeping BAC below 0.05 include:

  • Pace and Space: sip your drink, alternate with non-alcoholic beverages, and don’t drink more than 1 standard drink per hour.
  • Eat before and while drinking: having food in your stomach slows the rate at which alcohol is absorbed into your blood stream.
  • Don't mix alcohol with other drugs.
  • Are you sick or tired? If so, know that your body will metabolize alcohol more slowly.

Interested in calculating your BAC?

Visit the B4U Drink Educator. This website, designed by The Century Council, includes a Virtual Bar where you can estimate your BAC before you go out.