Safe Alcohol Intake

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Written by Inara Hasanali, M.A.  | Medically Reviewed by Dr. Sunil Shroff, MBBS, MS, FRCS (UK), D. Urol (Lond) on Aug 16, 2014
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Safe Alcohol Intake

Safe intake of alcohol is 8-20 grams of ethanol per day.

All over the world legal limits of alcohol consumption are set. However it is very difficult to really define a safe limit of alcohol except in a broad range between 8- 20 grams of ethanol.

Guidelines advise that one drink per day for women, two for men is well within the moderate limits.

A single drink is:

One 12-ounce beer
One 5-ounce glass of wine, or
One 1.5-ounce drink of distilled spirits

"Drunkenness is temporary suicide: the happiness that it brings is merely negative, a momentary cessation of unhappiness." - Bertrand Russell (1872 - 1970)

Permissible Blood Alcohol Limits while driving light motor vehicle (e.g. passenger car) varies from country to country. But for all practical purposes one should not exceed one small drink before driving.

In India, the permitted blood alcohol level is 20 mg/dl whereas in Norway, Sweden and Russia it is 20mg/ dl. In United states and UK it is 0.08%. In most European countries it is 0.05%.

For Pilots: The Federal Aviation Regulations governing U.S. pilots prohibits operation of an aircraft within eight hours of consumption or while having as little as 0.04 percent of alcohol by weight in the blood. Similar laws apply to most of the countries.

Common Carriers such as buses: In the United States operators of carriers such as buses are restricted to a 0.01% limit.

ReadMore on Drunken Driving

References:

1. Thomas DB, Alcohol as a cause of cancer.The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington, USA. Environ Health Perspect. 1995 November; 103(Suppl 8): 153160.

2. http://www2.potsdam.edu/hansondj/RelatedLinks.html

3. http://www.drug-rehabs.org/alcoholhistory.php

4. www.wikipedia.org

5. www.medindia.net

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