If you or someone you know is in crisis, contact the Military Crisis Line or call 911: 1-800-273-8255, press 1 or Text 838255

How to Model and Support Responsible Drinking

Whether it’s your buddies, loved ones or even strangers, someone is looking to you as an example. You may not realize the impact of your actions, but by choosing to drink responsibly, you are protecting your career and the well-being of others. How do you model responsible drinking?


Remember, many factors impact how quickly you feel the effects of alcohol (like weight, gender and how much food you’ve eaten). Some of these factors vary every time you drink.

Small or Large, Your Actions Matter

  • Track your drinks. By knowing how many drinks you have, you can make sure you own your limit. This keeps your night safe and shows others that you can drink responsibly and still have a good time.
  • Set yourself up for success. Be an example by eating enough before drinking, alternating alcoholic drinks with water and drinking at your own pace. Your buddies might end up trying it too.
  • Plan your rides ahead. If you know you’re going out drinking, make plans to safely get home before you start drinking. Take turns as the designated driver with your buddies or set up a ride share app on your phone to show responsibility and ensure a safe time for everyone.
  • Be careful to NOT mix alcohol with medications. Mixing any amount of alcohol with over-the-counter or prescription medications can be harmful. It may also make the medication less effective. Model this safe behavior and those around you will follow your lead.

Be an Example for Others to Follow

  • Respect others’ drinking decisions. If a buddy decides to only have one drink or stop drinking altogether, their decision is personal and you should respect it.
  • Show your support. Cheer them on with comments like “I’m proud of you for sticking to your goals” or “Thankful to have a sober driver!” Showing support can go a long way.
  • Offer non-alcoholic beverages like fizzy water, soda or non-alcoholic beer if you’re hosting. Or one up your hosting game and experiment with different recipes for non-alcoholic drinks.
  • Consider taking a break from drinking. Try not drinking for a week or more to see how it positively affects you and your time off duty. Your other buddies might even decide to join in.

The world is a safer place when people make responsible choices. Be a good example by taking ownership of your actions and choosing to drink responsibly.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, contact the Military Crisis Line or call 911: 1-800-273-8255, press 1 or Text 838255