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Dublin: 6 °C Saturday 22 February, 2020

Less than 5% of Irish people know what their weekly alcohol limit is

But over two-thirds of people said they were more aware of the harmful effects alcohol can have.

Image: Igor Normann via Shutterstock

IRISH PEOPLE ARE becoming more aware of the dangers of excessive drinking – but less than 5% know what the weekly alcohol guidelines for men or women are.

A survey by Drinkaware, which aims to provide facts about alcohol and its effects, showed that 71% of Irish adults agree they have become much more aware of how excessive drinking affects their health and wellbeing.

But it found that only 2-3% of Irish adults knew the recommended weekly alcohol intake was.

If you’re not sure yourself, here they are:

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

The survey also found that 39% of Irish adults had “made positive changes” to their drinking habits, with physical health and fitness goals cited as their main motivation.

Drinkaware Chief Medical Officer Dr Liam Twomey said that “the Drinkaware research revealed some worrying trends”.

Measurements Source: Drinkaware

“…The vast majority of Irish adults still aren’t fully aware of the low risk guidelines for alcohol. Without this information, people may be regularly drinking at a level which could put their health at significant risk.”

Ahead of the Bank Holiday weekend, Drinkaware is advising people to:

  • Alternate each drink with water to reduce the dehydration associated with alcohol and warmer temperatures
  • Always use a measure: never free-pour spirits. Order a free Standard Drink Measure Cup at
  • Never top up your wine glass – always finish one glass before refilling
  • Downsize your drink by choosing lower alcohol beer and wine
  • Avoid rounds – you may end up drinking more than you intended.

As part of Drinkaware’s Behaviour and Attitudes survey, 1000 Irish adults aged 18 and over were interviewed. The survey also revealed:

  • 72% of people surveyed believed drinking to excess is just part of Irish culture
  • 45% of people said we all drink to excess at some stage – it’s no big deal
  • 31% of people would like to drink alcohol less often

Read: Craft breweries will be allowed sell drink on tours under a new law

Read: So, what’s the deal with Ireland naming and shaming drink drivers?

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