View the full standard drinks guide.

What are the Australian Alcohol Guidelines?

The National Health and Medical Research Council published the Australian guidelines to reduce health risks from drinking alcohol in 2009.

The NHMRC guidelines are:

Guideline 1

Reducing the risk of alcohol-related harm over a lifetime

For healthy men and women, drinking no more than two standard drinks on any day reduces the lifetime risk of harm from alcohol-related disease or injury.

Guideline 2

Reducing the risk of injury on a single occasion of drinking

For healthy men and women, drinking no more than four standard drinks on a single occasion reduces the risk of alcohol-related injury arising from that occasion.

Guideline 3

Children and young people under 18 years of age

For children and young people under 18 years of age, not drinking alcohol is the safest option.

Parents and carers should be advised that children under 15 years of age are at the greatest risk of harm from drinking and that for this age group, not drinking alcohol is especially important.

For young people aged 15 – 17 years, the safest option is to delay the initiation of drinking for as long as possible.

Guideline 4

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

Maternal alcohol consumption can harm the developing fetus or breastfeeding baby.

For women who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, not drinking is the safest option.

For women who are breastfeeding, not drinking is the safest option.

Further information is available at:

Like everything else in life, guidelines designed for a national purpose sometimes have to be interpreted for individuals. All of us are different.

If you are not sure whether or not you should drink a little more or whether you should have some alcohol before a risky physical activity, remember that it is better to err on the side of caution.