Celebrating St Patrick’s Day 2016? Be Drinkaware.

Celebrating St Patrick’s Day 2016? Be Drinkaware.

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St Patrick’s Day has long been associated with excessive drinking but it doesn’t have to be this way. If you decide to drink as part of your St Patrick’s Day celebrations, it’s important to get the facts you need to make informed decisions about alcohol and ensure you can enjoy the day safely. Here are three things to keep in mind if you plan to drink alcohol.

Keep track of how much you are drinking

Drinking alcohol at any level can increase the risk of damage to your health and this risk increases the more you drink. Try to keep track of how many standard drinks you consume. One standard drink is a half pint of beer, stout or lager, small glass of wine (100ml) or a pub measure of spirits (35.5ml).

The Department of Health/HSE recommend that to reduce risks to your health and wellbeing, you should adhere to the low-risk guidelines for alcohol consumption:

  • 11 standard drinks (110g pure alcohol) spread out over the week for women, with at least two alcohol-free days
  • 17 standard drinks (170g pure alcohol) spread out over the week for men, with at least two alcohol-free days

Drinks should be spread out over the week and never saved up for one session.

Reducing how much you drink is easier than you might think

A recent Healthy Ireland report stated that 14% of drinkers feel they should cut down on their drinking.(1)

Here are some quick tips to reduce your alcohol consumption you could try this St Patrick’s Day:

  • If you usually drink pints of beer or cider, why not opt for a bottle or half pint instead?
  • When you’re drinking wine, always finish one glass before pouring another. Topping up your glass can make it hard to track how much you are drinking.
  • Alcohol dehydrates the body. Alternating each drink with water will keep you hydrated.
  • Low alcohol wine and beer are now more widely available. Try one out as an alternative to your usual full strength drink.

There may still be alcohol in your system the next morning

The time of your last drink at night will affect when it is safe for you to drive the following day. It takes your body one hour to process one standard drink and there’s no quick fix. Nothing can help to remove alcohol from your body, only time. 

12% of driving under the influence arrests are made between 8am and 2pm. From January to October 2015, 56.3% of offenders were between aged 20-39 years and nearly 20% were between 40-49 years.

Why take the risk? Plan ahead and arrange an alternative way to travel the next morning. Never EVER drink and drive. Find out more about drink driving in Ireland.

Download our information booklet, Alcohol and You, to get the facts about alcohol and use our tracker to see how much you drink and spend on alcohol in one week.

1 Healthy Ireland Survey 2015, Ipsos MRBI. Commissioned by the Department of Health.