Alcohol Use

For many students, going away to college is the point in life when they begin the experience of making their own decisions about their life on a day-to day basis. One area where students have the opportunity to experiment is with their use of alcohol. Whether you choose to drink or not, the chances are that your college life will be affected by alcohol in one way or another.

What are the differences?

  • Standard Drink
  • Moderate Drinking
  • Binge Drinking
  • Alcohol Overdose

A standard drink is defined as:

  • 12-ounce beer at roughly 5% alcohol (i.e. Miller Lite, Budweiser, Coors Light)
  • 8 ounces of malt liquor at roughly 7% alcohol (i.e., generally come in 40 ounces)
  • 5 ounces of wine at 12% alcohol
  • 1.5 ounces of 80 proof hard alcohol at roughly 40% alcohol (i.e. whiskey, vodka)


 Source: CDC - Alcohol Fact Sheet

If you choose to drink, the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend drinking in moderation, defined as up to 1 drink a day for women or up to 2 drinks a day for men.

  • There is no health recommendation for anyone to begin drinking or increase alcohol consumption
  • There are some people who should not drink any alcohol:
    • Younger than age 21
    • Pregnant or may be pregnant
    • Driving, planning to drive, or participating in other activities requiring skill, coordination, and alertness.
    • Taking certain prescription or over-the-counter medications that can interact with alcohol.

“Binge drinking” is defined as a pattern of drinking alcohol that brings BAC to .08 or above. For a typical adult, this pattern corresponds to consuming 5 or more drinks (male), or 4 or more drinking (female), in about 2 hours. Further, it is understood that binge drinking elevates one's risk to experience negative consequences.

Binge drinking is most common among younger adults aged 18–34 years. Binge drinking is twice as common among men than among women.





Alcohol overdose has replaced the term “Alcohol Poisoning” because the reality is that one has overdosed on alcohol. Alcohol is a drug and like any other drug, taking too much is considered an overdose. When this happens, medical attention is necessary.

Should any of the following symptoms be displayed by a friend or acquaintance, call for help:

  • Person is passed out or semi-conscious and cannot be awakened
  • Person vomits while sleeping or passed out and does not wake up
  • Rate of breathing seems slow or irregular
  • Person has cold, clammy, pale or bluish color skin

These are all symptom of alcohol overdose and the person’s life could be in danger. You should always seek medical/professional help as soon as possible:

  • Call Marquette University Police Department at (414) 288-1911
  • Provide accurate information such as location, condition of the student, names, etc.
  • Stay with the person/friend until help arrives
  • Gather, if possible, information about the amount of alcohol consumed by the victim to share with the emergency services personnel


More Information 

These pages have been created to provide you with resources to make an informed decision about alcohol.

Alcohol Free Activities for MU students

Information for MU students

Get involved in alcohol programming & prevention

Alcohol Prevention Programs



CDC - Alcohol

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse & Alcoholism

College Drinking Prevention