I have two buddies of mine who drink 3-5 alcoholic beverages a day, is that a clinical alcoholic?

Abuse or at risk. In men less than age 65 more than 3 drinks in 1 day or 14 in a week is considered abuse and at risk. We do not use clinical. However we use abuse or dependency both are present > 1 year but abuse has 1 criteria, dependency 3 or more they are at risk and abuse. Have them talk to their doctor.
It depends. How much one drinks indicates if one is a light, moderate, or heavy drinker. Other criteria like craving and continued use despite harm are used to determine alcohol addiction. Obviously if one drinks a fifth of vodka each day it is highly likely one will meet the criteria of being an alcoholic.