RECKLESS drinking poses a big threat to the wellbeing of Mzansi.
To combat this, South African Breweries (SAB) has committed itself to reducing the harm that alcohol abuse causes, with an easy-to-understand guide that gives the facts about alcohol units and measures.
In Mzansi, the legal limit is a breath alcohol content of 0,24mg for every 1 000ml, or a blood alcohol limit of 0,05g for every 100ml.
The South African government defines moderate alcohol consumption as no more than two standard drinks – 340ml or a half quart of beer – a day for women and no more than three standard drinks a day for men.
The rule of thumb is a maximum of one unit of alcohol an hour. This is equal to 10ml of pure alcohol, based on an adult weighing 68kg. Our bodies can process only one unit of alcohol an hour.
Be aware that if you weigh less than 68kg your body will need more time to process the same amount of alcohol.
What does one unit represent?
- It is equal to two thirds of a beer or spirit cooler with 5% alcohol content.
- For those who drink wine, 75ml of red or white wine an hour with an alcohol content of 12% to 14% is an acceptable unit.
- Spirit drinkers can imbibe up to one 25ml tot of alcohol an hour.
Alcohol content is also expressed as a percentage of the whole drink. Look on a can of beer or a bottle of wine and you’ll see either a percentage, followed by the abbreviation ALC/VOL or alcohol by volume. Wine that says 13 ABV on its label contains 13% pure alcohol in the total liquid inside.
Advice for responsible drinking
- If you drink beer or wine at home, drink smaller amounts in a glass.
- If you fill your glass to the rim, you’ll drink more than you realise. Drink from a smaller glass.
- Measure your spirits; don’t pour them freestyle. A tot cup measures the same amount whether spirits, wine or beer.
- Pour your own drinks. If your partner or host is constantly topping up your half-filled glass, it’s hard to keep track of how much alcohol you are drinking.
- Try tracking your alcohol consumption each day. Use an app or notebook.
- Drink spritzers if you like wine or one half a litre of shandy if you’re a lager drinker. You consume the same amount of liquid but with less alcohol.
- Buy half-litre bottles if you prefer higher strength lager or try a lower strength drink option. You really won’t notice the difference.
- Pay attention. Do your loved ones and friends complain about your drinking. You may have a problem.
For more information visit www.drinkaware.co.uk