GUIDELINES FOR SAFE DRINKING

The current UK guidelines advise limiting alcohol intake to 14 units a week for women and men. This is equivalent to drinking no more than 6 pints of average-strength beer (4% ABV) or 7 medium-sized glasses of wine (175ml, 12% ABV) a week.

Both males and females should have at least one drink-free day a week. When drinking at home, people are almost always more generous, so itís a good idea to get into the habit of using a spirit measure.

Staying within the Ďsafeí limits does not mean that a person is capable of driving a motor vehicle. When driving, it is best not to drink at all.

If I don't feel drunk, I don't have a problem - do I?
Alcohol tolerance can lead someone with a dangerously high consumption to be falsely reassured that as long as they donít feel drunk, they will be fine.  The reverse is true. Needing a lot of alcohol to get drunk proves that you are already drinking too much, too often. Alcohol tolerance can be compared to a lack of the ability to feel pain. If you didn't feel pain, you wouldn't immediately remove your hand from a hot stove and notice it was burnt until it was too late.

If you have developed a tolerance for alcohol, you can no longer trust your body's signals to tell you when you've had too much. Instead, you will have to keep count of drinks to know when you've drunk too much.