Quick Tips

Tips for Politely Declining The Offer of a Drink/Substance

Socially, the offer of a drink is often a friendly gesture. You can refuse it in a way that is clear you are declining the drink/substance, not the friendship.

  1. "No thanks, I'm driving. Do you have anything non-alcoholic?"
  2.  “No thanks, I’m taking medication for allergies. Do you have any pop?”
  3. “No thanks, I’m fine right now.”
  4. “Thanks for the offer, but I don’t drink/use.”
  5. “Thanks for the offer, but I don’t drink anymore.”
  6. “I appreciate the offer, but I’m underage.”
  7. “No thanks, I’m allergic to it.”
  8. “No thanks. I have to study. Do you have any coffee?”
  9. “No thanks, I’ve had my limit.”
  10. “No thanks, I feel like I’m coming down with something.”


  1. Watch the amount of alcohol being consumed: Mix your own drinks and use standard measures to avoid mixing drinks too strong. Make sure the bartender does the same. Know how much alcohol is in one standard drink.
    • One standard drink equals: 12-ounce beer (5% alcohol); 5-ounce glass of wine (12 % alcohol); 1.5-ounce shot of liquor (80 proof) Remember, if a mixed drink contains two shots (3 ounces) then it is no longer one standard drink, it is two!
  2. Watch how many: This is no more than 2-4 drinks in one sitting. Also, stick to no more than one drink per hour. Drinking more than this can result in a loss of motor functioning, perception, and judgment.
  3. Watch your drink: Leaving your drink around unknown party attendees increases the risk of tampering. Remember: Alcohol is the #1 date rape drug!
  4. Watch the law: When you are under 21, even if you are being responsible, there are legal and school consequences to drinking which may include fines, loss of your driver's license, and required treatment. These penalties may result in a criminal record and could have an impact on your future career or academic plans.

Safe Consumption Tips

  • Ride only with a sober driver: Designate a driver before you go to the party and make sure this person stays responsible and does not consume any alcohol.
  • Eat shortly before or while you consume alcohol: Food helps to slow the absorption of alcohol into the circulatory system.
  • Alternate alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks: Use water or fruit juices as "spacers", and healthier alternatives, between alcoholic drinks to give your body more time to metabolize the alcohol and decrease the amount of alcohol in your system.
  • Be aware of mixing alcohol with carbonated beverages: Carbonation increases the speed that alcohol is absorbed.
  • Do not drink alcohol while taking medication or using drugs: Over-the-counter, prescription, and illicit drugs can have harmful effects when mixed with alcohol. Consult a pharmacist or physician.
  • Consume alcohol slowly: Sip, do not guzzle drinks, and avoid drinking games where a large amount of alcohol is consumed in a short amount of time. Generally, people consume more alcohol when they drink faster or try to play "catch up".
  • Friends don't let friends date drunk: Stick with friends. Go to parties in pairs or in groups. Avoid leaving anyone there alone, especially if they are intoxicated. 

Page last modified July 8, 2021