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24 Good Excuses For Not Drinking (Saying NO should be easy)

Have you ever gone out with friends, coworkers, or even your spouse but didn’t feel like drinking? There are legitimate excuses for not drinking, like if you’re pregnant or on medication. Other times, you might not feel like it.

You shouldn’t have to explain yourself for not wanting to drink, but people are often nosy and want to know why you’re refusing that glass of wine or a shot of tequila. 

Although getting blasted with your friends can be fun from time to time, the fact remains, consuming alcohol is not healthy, especially in large quantities. 

So if you’re looking for a list of reasons for not drinking, keep on reading.

Here are 24 excuses for not drinking:

Whatever your reasons may be, sometimes it’s easier to give excuses for not drinking, regardless of whether or not it’s true. Either way, the excuses on this list will help you avoid the topic of drinking if you don’t want to.

1. Running a marathon

woman feeling sick after running

If you’re a veteran runner or just starting out with running, a marathon is a great way to test your physical health and endurance. If you’re planning on running a marathon or have entered a race, drinking the night before is not a wise choice.  Staying hydrated is extremely important, and alcohol dehydrates you. If you are out and tell people you aren’t drinking because you have a marathon to run the next day, chances are they’ll forget all about drinking and become intrigued with your next-day marathon activity.

2. You have to go to work

Another good excuse for not drinking is to claim that you have to work either later that day or early in the morning. Going to work hungover or smelling like alcohol is not fun and is also a great way to get in trouble or potentially lose your job.

Some jobs have a zero alcohol requirement, so if you get caught being drunk or even having a few drinks in your system, you could be let go immediately and face legal consequences. 

Besides, the last time you had a few too many the night before a work shift, you got to work late. You don’t want to repeat that mistake again!

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3. Feeling sick

Saying that you’re feeling sick is a good excuse to get out of drinking if you’re out with your friends, family, or coworkers. It could be that you have a sore throat, a headache, or that your stomach is off. All make good excuses for not drinking.

If you use sickness as an excuse, the people you are with might advise you to go home and rest. If you’re actually sick, then you might want to take their advice. If you’re faking, you can say something like: “I’m fine, I just think that drinking will make it worse.”

4. Allergic to alcohol

Being allergic to alcohol or having an alcohol intolerance is a real condition that people suffer from. The symptoms can be felt immediately after drinking and can make you quite uncomfortable. The most common symptom that people think about if they have an alcohol intolerance is facial redness (flushing) or itchy bumps that start to appear. If this happens to you when you drink, then it’s best to avoid alcohol altogether. 

5. Currently pregnant

It goes without saying that while pregnant, you should not drink at all. If you’re still in your first trimester and are not showing yet, then this excuse for not drinking might reveal that you’re pregnant if you haven’t already told people. Unless you’re ready to reveal your pregnancy to others, then maybe refrain from being in situations where everyone is drinking around you. This excuse only works for women, but the next one might work for both men and women.

6. Trying to get pregnant

Although only women can claim pregnancy as an excuse to not drink, both men and women can claim that they are trying to get pregnant as an excuse. Yes, people do get pregnant after a night of drunken sex, however, loss of libido is a cause of infertility, and alcohol is a factor in that process. 

7. Don’t want to embarrass yourself

two guys pouring alcohol into a funnel that a third guy is drinking while spilling it all over himself

Remember the last time you went out drinking with your friends? Remember how you completely embarrassed yourself? We all know someone who can’t handle alcohol and turn into a completely different person when they are drunk. 

In this funny reddit thread, one user comments on the most embarrassing moment they experienced when they were drunk:

Refused to drive and decided to walk home (20 miles). Woke up on the side of the freeway with a fireman kicking me, saying “Get up. We are getting calls about a dead body.”

That was the last major bender I ever went on.

Don’t be like this guy! If this story sounds all too familiar, then maybe lay off the sauce for a bit or limit yourself to only one.

8. Don’t want to drunk dial your ex

For some reason, whenever you drink too much, you have a tendency to drunk dial your ex. Maybe you have no recollection of it the next day, but your phone logs act as a reminder. Using this as an excuse to not drink is completely valid and funny at the same time.

9. Drank too much the night before

Drinking two nights in a row can be difficult for some, especially if you got completely blasted the night before. If you’re experiencing a hangover, this is plenty of reason to not drink. Instead of alcohol, you’ll be sipping on Gatorade and water.

10. Trying to lose weight

girl holding a wine glass with a tape measure wrapped around the stem

If you’ve been trying to lose weight for some time, then you might want to look at your alcohol consumption. Alcohol keeps your body from burning fat because the calories that are in alcohol contain very little nutrition. Whether you want to drop a few pounds for an upcoming vacation, wedding, or reunion, putting down the bottle can help speed up the process. 

11. You have to drive

Maybe you drew the short stick and got stuck as the designated driver, or perhaps you drove purposely so you could use that as an excuse not to drink. Either way, if you’re driving, you should not be drinking. This is an easy excuse.

12. On antibiotics

If you’re recovering from an illness, infection, or surgery, your doctor might put you on antibiotics. And in most cases, you should not drink alcohol if you’re on antibiotics. Drinking alcohol while on antibiotics can reduce your energy and delay recovery time.

13. Big presentation at work

Another good excuse for not drinking is to claim that you have a big presentation the next day at work. You’re presenting a project you’ve been working on for a long time, and you don’t want to blow it. Management will be there, so you want to be as sharp as possible.

14. Moving

Have you ever tried moving the next day after a night of drinking? It is not fun at all. This is a good one if you’re looking for a reason to not drink. You can say that you’re the one moving homes or that you’re helping a friend or family member move.

15. Long car ride the next day

Long car rides can be quite nauseous for some people, but when you add in a hangover to the mix, it becomes 10x worse. The last time you went on a long car ride after a night of drinking, you clutched onto your vomit bag the entire trip.

16. Don’t like the taste

girl drinking alcohol who doesn't like the taste

The taste of alcohol is not for everyone. Sometimes it’s bitter, overly sweet, tastes like mouthwash, or straight-up fire that burns your throat. A lot of alcohol is an acquired taste, and if you don’t drink too often, nobody will blame you for not liking it. 

17. They don’t have your drink

Maybe you only drink a specific beer, wine, rum, vodka, or whiskey. If they don’t have your drink, you can claim that you rather drink water. This might paint you as a snob, but so what? You like what you like.

18. You have to spend time with your child

Using your children is a good excuse to get out of drinking. You’re just being a good parent, right? Being drunk around your child does not set a good example, and if you’re hungover around them, you might not give them the attention they need because of your splitting headache. If you’re with other parents, then they will surely understand.

19. Gym in the morning

Using the gym the next morning is another good excuse for not drinking. It works for beginners and regular gym rats. If you’re trying to become a better version of yourself by waking up early and getting your sweat on, then just say no to your peers 

20. Surgery the next day

You can use having surgery the next day as an excuse for not drinking, although this excuse might get called out as BS if you’re with people you know quite well. However, it’s a foolproof excuse if it is the truth.

21. Wife is ovulating

If you’re trying to start a family, or increase your family size, then using your wife’s ovulation cycle is a good excuse to get out of drinking. There is a window of about 5-6 days where the chances of getting pregnant are higher. You don’t want to lose out on that window by getting drunk and missing your mark. 

22. Big test the next day

Using tests and exams the next day, or even the next week, is a good excuse for not drinking. If you are serious about your grades, getting drunk the night before a test or studying is a bad idea. 

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23. Going on a date later

Going on a date late is an excuse that can be used for not drinking at any time. Dates can be scheduled for whenever, so even if you’re out with friends late at night and don’t feel like drinking, you can claim you’re meeting up with a date later on. First impressions matter, and you don’t want to show up smelling like alcohol.

24. Too full

Being too full is another common excuse for not wanting to drink. Being full from a large meal you ate earlier makes it physically difficult to put more liquid into your body. If the alcohol doesn’t agree with you, then you might see your dinner in the bathroom toilet shortly after.

Not everyone likes to drink, or the feeling of being drunk, and nobody likes feeling hungover. If you don’t want to drink, you shouldn’t have to explain yourself, but in case you do feel the need to, we hope these excuses for not drinking serve you well. Good luck!

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