Alcohol & Drug Use

Alcoholic beverages, such as beer, wine and hard liquors (gin, rum, vodka, etc.) will be served in the U.S. at many types of social gatherings — parties, sporting events, receptions, etc. You must be 21 or older to consume alcoholic beverages in the state of Connecticut. It is against Connecticut state law to buy or serve alcohol to anyone under 21.

To read Yale policies on alcohol, see the Alcohol and Other Drugs Harm Reductions Initiative (“Audrey”)

Behaving Responsibly

It is important to behave responsibly should you choose to consume alcoholic beverages. Never drink more than you can handle, and do not allow your guests to become overly intoxicated. If you do choose to drink, here is some helpful advice:

  • Limit the amount you drink. Have at least one large glass of water (or another non-alcoholic choice) between drinks.
  • Sip drinks slowly. Don’t guzzle or take big gulps.
  • Eat heavy meals or dairy products before or while drinking. (These foods slow down alcohol absorption.)
  • Drink diluted alcoholic beverages such as beer and wine, rather than straight shots.
  • Avoid carbonated mixers or sparkling wines; they speed the alcohol into your blood stream.
  • Avoid spiked punch and other drinks containing unknown amounts of alcohol.


Irresponsible behavior while drinking can have serious consequences, including:

  • Drunk driving: forty percent of all traffic fatalities are alcohol-related and driving drunk in the U.S. is a serious criminal offense. Stiff punishments include high fine, jail sentences and suspension of driver’s license. A blood alcohol level of .08 of higher is considered too drunk to drive.
  • Date rape/sexual assault: one study found that 70% of women and 80% of men had been drinking when a sexual assault occurred.
  • Injury: Nearly 600,000 students aged 18 to 24 are unintentionally injured under the influence of alcohol each year.