I quit drinking this February. No relapse and no big issues.
I realized after I had quit that one of my closest friends has actually been a successful moderate drinker - restricting himself to no more than two drinks each time he goes out. Only two, never three. I also discovered there were other friends and acquaintances who used to drink heavily but decided to severely restrict their intake of alcohol and have successfully done so for decades without a lot of effort.
- It helped me realize that there are probably a lot of successful moderate drinkers out there that we don't necessarily know about but are around us just the same.
- I also thought had I known about it before I quit, it's a route I would have tried first before quitting drinking 100%. Since I treasure and prefer myself 100% sober, there is no way I would risk all of that now. So while moderation might have been a solution for me, that ship has sailed, so it's not an option I'm interested in exploring.
If someone thinks they might have a problem with alcohol, I think this board provides an excellent resource. And, unless it's clear* that they are hitting a hard bottom as a result of their drinking, I would encourage them to try moderation. If it works for them .. fine. Otherwise, similar to any of us who have suffered a relapse, they know where to go for advice and support. For people who find moderation fails after a few attempts, they are probably better off trying to find ways to abstain.
If anyone who has been sober for months, years, or even decades, and starts wondering whether moderation might be for them, I'd give them the same advice I give myself: don't risk it as you can't afford to be wrong.
* "clear" is relative. A drunk could be awaiting trial for his DUI, fired from his job, and recently lost his wife due to his drinking and still claim he has not yet hit his bottom.