How do you know when you drank too much? When should you stop drinking? The answer to those questions can vary greatly depending on who you talk to and how one defines "too much".
In the state of California, for example, you can not exceed a blood alcohol limit of .08 during a field sobriety check; otherwise you will be convicted of a DUI. How many drinks does it take to get to a .08? Much of this depends on your age, weight and metabolism. For some, one drink (1 ounce of hard alcohol), one glass of wine, or one beer might push you over the legal limit to drive. Others might be able to consume more and still be within the legal limit to operate a motorized vehicle.
Regardless of the laws, knowing how much you can drink is often personal and ones relationship to alcohol can also change that answer tremendously. Persons who have a tendency to drink too much, have a much greater chance of becoming an alcoholic later in life. Those who know their limit intuitively tend to stop drinking before they get sick.
Here are some things to consider if you have a hard time estimating if you drink to much or too frequently:
1. Do friends complain about your drinking habits?
2. Its taking longer and longer to get buzzed.
3. You are blacking out and forgetting what you did the night before.
4. You find yourself using alcohol to cope or deal with unpleasant feelings or situations
5. You are starting to drink alone or making excuses to have a drink
6. You are sneaking in a drink without people knowing it.
7. Your thoughts are consuming about the use of alcohol and when you can drink next
8. You are starting to rationalize why its "OK" to drink to yourself and others
9. You have been in trouble with the law around the use of alcohol
Knowing how to say no, and knowing your limits is important. If you don't know if you have a problem with alcohol, consider taking an alcohol awareness class. If you are under 21, then taking a minor in possession class might be a great decision for gaining some education in better understanding the risks and consequences of alcohol use. It's never too late to educate one's self on the risks of alcohol.