So what is a Unit?


Lots of people talk about units of alcohol and how many units is considered safe but what does it all actually mean? Recalling how many drinks you may have had is one thing but knowing how much alcohol you have been consuming is something very different.

The amount of alcohol in a drink is measured in UNITS.

A UNIT is the equivalent of 10ml of pure alochol (the amount of alcohol the body can eliminate in approximately one hour). The number of units in a drink depends on what you are drinking,  how strong it is and how much there is.

So, for example, a bottle of wine could be 13% ABV (Alcohol By Volume). This means that 13% of the amount of liquid in that bottle is alcohol.

A bottle of wine is 750ml so 97.5mls (13%) are pure alcohol. Therefore the bottle of wine has just under 10 units of alcohol (97.5 divided by 10 = 9.75)
Don’t worry about remembering how to calculate this. Think about your favourite drinks and have a look at the chart below. This will give you a guide in terms of your unit consumption.
Remember the Department of Health guidelines are:
-         Men – No more than 3-4 Units per day
-         Women – No more than 2-3 Units per day
-         Pregnant women – avoid alcohol
-         If you are on medication or have other problems with your physical or mental health speak to your GP for advice about drinking

 Unit Guide

Please remember that this is a GUIDE - the number of units in a drink depends on the strength and volume of what you drink.