Don’t drink and drive this Christmas- Advice on how to ensure you are under the legal drink drive limit

As we approach the festive period events such as work Christmas parties and family occasions will often include the consumption of alcohol. These occasions can easily be tempting to drink more than the legal limit for driving. Across the UK the legal drink driving limit is 35 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath.

Alcohol measurements


1 Pub Measure 25ml

1 Pub Measure 35ml

1/4 Bottle 175ml(17.5cl)

1/2 Bottle 350ml (35cl)

1 Bottle 700ml (70cl)

1 Litre 1000ml (100cl)

37.5% abv Clear Spirits e.g. Gin, Bacardi, Vodka 0.9 units 1.3 units 6.5 units 13 units 26 units 37.5 units
40% abv e.g. Whisky, Dark Rum, Pernod, Brandy, Tequilla 1 unit 1.4 units 7 units 14 units 28 units 40 units
50% abv e.g. strong vodka&whisky 1.3 units 1.8 units 8.8 units 17.5 units 35 units 50 units
60% abv e.g. strong vodka&whisky, Abysnth 1.5 units 2.1 units 10.5 units 21 units 42 units 60 units



1 Pint

1 Bottle

1 Can

1 Litre

4% Beer&Lager e.g. Carling,*Tennents, John Smith's&Guiness etc. 2.3 units 1.3 units 2 units 4.0 units
5% Beer&Lager e.g. Kronenberg, Stella, Old Speckled Hen, Grolsch, Peroni, Miller 2.8 units 1.7 units 2.5 units 5.0 units
6% Beer&Lager e.g.Carlsberg Ice, ESB, Holsten Pils, Labatts Ice 3.4 units 2 units 3 units 6 units
7% Beer&Lager e.g. Carlsberg Elephant Brew 4 units 2.3 units 3.5 units 7 units
8% Beer&Lager e.g. Crucial Brew 4.5 units 2.6 units 4 units 8 units
9% Beer&Lager e.g. Carlsberg Special, Tennents&kestrel Super Castlemaine xxxx 5 units 3 units 4.5 units 9 units


Wine Includes Red, White,Rosé,Sparkling, and Champagne

1 Bottle(750ml)

1 Glass(125ml)

1 Glass(175ml)

1 Glass(250ml)

6% Wine 4.5 units 0.8 units 1 unit 1.5 units
7% Wine 5.3 units 0.9 units 1.2 units 1.8 units
8% Wine 6 units 1 unit 1.4 units 2 units
9% Wine 6.8 units 1.1 units 1.6 units 2.2 units
10% Wine 7.5 units 1.3 units 1.8 units 2.5 units
11% Wine 8.3 units 1.4 units 1.9 units 2.8 units
12% Wine 9.0 units 1.5 units 2.1 units 3.0 units
13% Wine 9.8 units 1.6 units 2.3 units 3.2 units
14% Wine 10.5 units 1.8 units 2.5 units 3.5 units
15% Wine 11.3 units 1.9 units 2.6 units 3.8 units


What are the risks associated with Drink Driving?

If you get caught whilst being over the drink driving limit there are legal penalties which will be a fine, risk of losing your driving license and even jail.

Drink driving can lead to dangerous driving which can cause accidents and harm others which could cause serious injuries or deaths. This can lead to legal penalties and even a jail sentence. If your work involves driving then it could result in you losing your job and having a criminal record. It could lead to feelings of guilt, sadness and regret. Really serious drink driving offenses could become public causing humiliation.

The factors that could impact on how alcohol affects you when behind the wheel of the car could include the following

• Your weight, gender, age and metabolism (the rate your body uses energy by burning calories)

• The type and amount of alcohol your drinking

• What you’ve eaten recently

• Your stress levels at the time Drink driving could also lead to personal problems which can lead to issues with family members and relationships.

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How can you Avoid Drink Driving?

• It is safest to avoid alcohol altogether if you are planning to drive on the same day. If you go out regularly with a group of friends then it is best to take turns at being the designated driver to ensure that you can get home safely every time.

• If you feel you may have drank too much then it is best to arrange for a taxi.

• Plan your route home. Make sure you have a reliable taxi service number or app on your phone and enough battery to last until the end of the night. Another useful way would be to see if a relative or friend can pick you up from where you are.

• Chose alcohol free or soft drinks so you can have a clear head and drive home alcohol free.

• Plan an alcohol free evening. Try a new activity as a group with friends or family where alcohol doesn’t take centre stage.

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If you are unsure about how much alcohol you consume and whether you are safe to drive then you can use these links below as a rough guide to calculate how much alcohol you have consumed and when you will be able to drive again.