Standard Drinks Guide for Teachers & Students

Standard Drink Introduction

The term ‘Standard Drink’ is commonly used and referred to when describing safe and unsafe levels of alcohol consumption. But what does this term Standard Drink mean?

In Australia, a Standard Drink is any alcoholic beverage which contains 10 grams of alcohol.

With so many alcoholic beverage options available it is easy to become confused as to what a Standard Drink looks like. Below is a simple chart displaying different standard drinks based on alcohol content, volume in millilitres and type of alcohol.

For information on AlcoCups Standard Drink educational resources visit our Resources page.


Formula for Standard Drinks

A government standard formula is used to determine how many standard drinks are in alcoholic beverages. The formula is outlined below:

Volume of beverage in Litres, multiplied by the percentage of alcohol volume, multiplied by 0.789, equals the number of standard drinks.
(0.789 is the specific gravity of ethyl alcohol).

For example, one stubbie (375ml) of heavy beer, with 5% alcohol:
0.375 multiplied by 5 multiplied by 0.789 equals 1.5 standard drinks
0.375 X 5 X 0.789=1.5 standard drinks


Importance of Understanding Standard Drinks

Understanding the term Standard Drink reduces harms and risks associated with alcohol consumption. Increasing individuals, families and communities knowledge regarding Standard Drinks creates a safer environment. Therefore empowering cultural change for individual consumption and public perception relating to alcohol.

AlcoCups questionnaires have indicated that 17.1% of people survey before the implementation of AlcoCups educational resources (7,000+ surveyed) could accurately identify a standard drink. After implementing AlcoCups educational resources 94.6% of people could accurately identify a standard drink.