Who should not drink?
Some people should not drink alcoholic beverages at all. These include:
Children and adolescents.
Individuals of any age who cannot restrict their drinking to moderate levels.
This is a special concern for recovering alcoholics, problem drinkers, and people whose family members have alcohol problems.
Women who may become pregnant or who are pregnant.
A safe level of alcohol intake has not been established for women at any time during pregnancy, including the first few weeks. Major birth defects, including fetal alcohol syndrome, can be caused by heavy drinking by the pregnant mother. Other fetal alcohol effects may occur at lower levels.
Individuals who plan to drive, operate machinery, or take part in other activities that require attention, skill or coordination.
Most people retain some alcohol in the blood up to 2 to 3 hours after a single drink.
Individuals taking prescription or over-the counter medications that can interact with alcohol.
Alcohol alters the effectiveness or toxicity of many medications, and some medications may increase blood alcohol levels. If you take medications, ask your health care provider for advice about alcohol intake, especially if you are an older adult.
Fifth Edition, 2000, US Department of Agriculture, US Department of Health and Human Services, pp. 36-37.