Enjoy Responsibly

Welcome to the Enjoy Responsibly section of our website - designed to offer information and advice on enjoying alcohol responsibly

 

HOW MUCH IS TOO MUCH?

Not sure if you’re drinking too much? Stick to the Government guidelines and keep your health risks low.

How much is a unit?

A unit of alcohol is 10ml of pure alcohol. That’s about the same as half a pint of lager (ABV 3.6%) or a single measure of spirits (25ml, ABV 40%). A small glass of wine (125ml, ABV 12%) contains about 1.5 units of alcohol.

Government guidance on alcohol

To keep the health risks of drinking to a low level, the Government guidelines advise:

not to regularly drink more than 14 units of alcohol a week
if you do drink as much as 14 units a week, it’s best to spread this evenly over three days or more
if you’re trying to reduce the amount of alcohol you drink, it’s a good idea to have several alcohol-free days each week
if you’re pregnant or planning a pregnancy, the safest approach is not to drink any alcohol at all.

You can find out more about the Government’s guidelines on alcohol here.

 

HOW TO CUT DOWN 

Keen to drink less alcohol? Try following these top tips on how to cut down.

Do i need to cut down?

The Government guidelines advise that it’s safest for both men and women not to regularly drink more than 14 units a week.

Following these guidelines can help you keep health risks from drinking alcohol to a low level.

Simple tips to help you cut down

If you’d like to cut down, try following these top tips: 

1. Make a plan
Before you start drinking, set a limit on how much you’re going to drink.
2. Set a budget
Only take a fixed amount of money to spend on alcohol.
3. Let them know
If you let your friends and family know you’re cutting down and that it’s important to you, you could get support from them.
4. Take it a day at a time
Cut back a little each day. That way, every day you do is a success.
5. Make it a smaller one
You can still enjoy a drink but go for smaller sizes. Try drinking a half instead of a full pint, or a small glass of wine instead of a large one.
6. Have a lower-strength drink
Cut down the alcohol by swapping strong beers or wines for ones with a lower strength (ABV in %). You’ll find this information on the bottle. Or if you’re drinking spirits, pour the mixer all the way to the top of your glass.
7. Stay hydrated
Drink a pint of water before you start drinking, and don’t use alcohol to quench your thirst. Have a soft drink instead.
8. Take a break
Have several drink-free days each week.

ALCOHOL AND THE LAW

Find out more about what the UK law says on alcohol.

Buying alcohol

If you’re under 18, it’s illegal to sell alcohol to you and it’s also against the law to buy or try to buy alcohol. If you’re over 18, on the other hand, you may get asked to prove your age. Learn more about the laws on buying alcohol.

Drinking in public places

Planning a party in the park? Taking the train to the football match? Here is a summary of the laws on drinking in public places.

Is it illegal to drink in public?

As a general rule of thumb, if you’re over the age of 18 you can drink in public. However, in certain areas where there is a Designated Public Place Order (DPPO) drinking in public may be restricted.

DPPO or PSPO powers allow local authorities to designate places where restrictions on public drinking apply, regardless of your age. In DPPO areas, a police officer can ask you to refrain from drinking. Refusal to comply may result in a fine or even arrest.

Drinking on trains is not against the law. Train operators may, of course, prefer not to serve alcohol on certain services. In Scotland, drinking is banned on trains between 9pm and 10am.

Drinking from and carrying open containers of alcohol is banned on London’s public transport network.

Underage Drinking

There are strict laws relating to underage drinking. Our policy at Greene King is not to allow anyone under the age of 18 to consume alcohol within any of our premises. We believe this is a responsible approach to protect children and our licensed premises in the sale of alcohol. Find out what’s legal and what’s not if you’re under 18.

Drink driving limits and penalties

Always wondered if it’s really safe to drive home after one or two pints? Find out what the laws says about drink driving.

Drink driving limits and penalties

Always wondered if it’s really safe to drive home after one or two pints? Here’s what the law says about drink driving.

The Drink Drive Limit

The law is strict when it comes to the drink drive limit, or how much alcohol you’re legally allowed to have in your system if you’re driving.

The limits are different in Scotland from the rest of the UK.

See the table below.

Level of alcohol

 

England, Wales and Northern Ireland


Scotland

Micrograms per 100 millilitres of breath


35 22

Milligrammes per 100 millilitres of blood


80 50

Milligrammes per 100 millilitres of urine


107 67

 

How many drinks can i have if i'm driving?

It’s difficult to translate the legal limit into a number of drinks; it’s different for each person.

It will depend on your weight, age, sex and metabolism, as well as the type and the amount of alcohol you’re drinking, what you’ve eaten recently and your stress levels at the time.

It takes the average person around one hour to process one unit of alcohol. Our advice is simple: if you’ve been drinking, don’t risk it and don’t drive. Don’t forget, the police can stop you at any time and ask you to take a breath test. If you refuse and don’t have a ‘reasonable excuse’ you can be arrested.

Drink-driving Penalties

If you’re found guilty of drink-driving you could face prison, a driving ban and an unlimited fine. You could face the same penalties for refusing to provide a specimen of breath, blood or urine for analysis.

If you’re found in charge of a vehicle while above the legal limit you may also get similar penalties. There’s no strict legal definition of ‘being in charge’ of a vehicle, but it could be sleeping in a car while over the limit and in possession of the keys or supervising another driver while over the limit.

 

DRINKING IN PREGNANCY

The safest approach is not to drink at all while you’re expecting. Find out more about the effects of alcohol on your baby.

Is it safe to drink while pregnant?

The new UK Government guidelines advise that if you’re pregnant or planning a pregnancy, the safest approach is not to drink alcohol at all.

Drinking in pregnancy can lead to long-term harm to the baby, with the more you drink, the greater the risk.

What are the effects of alcohol on  your baby?

When you drink while pregnant, the alcohol passes from your blood, through the placenta and into your baby’s blood. A baby’s liver is one of the last organs to develop and doesn’t mature until the latter stages of pregnancy. Your baby cannot process alcohol as well as you, and so it can seriously affect their development.

Drinking in the first three months of pregnancy can increase the risk of miscarriage as well as premature birth and low birth weight.

If you drink after the first three months of your pregnancy, it may affect your baby after they’re born. The effects can include learning difficulties and behavioural problems.

Drinking heavily throughout pregnancy can cause your baby to develop a serious condition called foetal alcohol syndrome, which leads to poor growth, facial abnormalities, as well as learning and behavioural problems.

More information

If you’re concerned about the risks of alcohol to your baby, speak with your doctor or midwife. You’ll also find more information online through the NHS.

To find out more about foetal alcohol syndrome, visit the NHS or get in touch with the National Organisation for Foetal Alcohol Syndrome-UK.

 

ALCOHOL AND YOUNG PEOPLE

Drinking at a young age can be related to a range of health and social problems. Here are some tips for talking to young people about alcohol.

An Alcohol-free childhood is the healthiest and best option

Drinking alcohol at any stage of childhood can have a detrimental effect on the development of vital organs including the brain, liver, bones and hormones. In particular, alcohol during teenage years is related to a wide range of health and social problems.

Drinking at an early age is associated with risky behaviour such as violence, having more sexual partners, pregnancy, using drugs, employment problems and drink driving.

That’s why an alcohol-free childhood is the healthiest and best option.

Our policy at Greene King is not to allow anyone under the age of 18 to consume alcohol within any of our premises. We believe this is a responsible approach to protect children and our licensed premises in the sale of alcohol.

Talking to young people about alcohol

Warm and supportive parent-adolescent relationships are associated with lower levels of adolescent drinking, as well as lower rates of problematic alcohol use and misuse.

If you would like to talk to your child about the dangers of alcohol, here are a few pointers on what you might say and how to say it: 

Research suggests that children are less likely to drink alcohol when their parents show that they don’t agree with it.
Be there for your child and make sure they know you are. Answer their questions about drinking.
Explain how alcohol can affect our judgement. Drinking too much could lead to something they much later regret, such as having unprotected sex or getting into fights.
If your child wants to drink, help them understand how to do it responsibly.
Warn your child about the dangers of drink spiking and how to avoid it.

Help you child work out a plan. Where are they going, how are they getting home and will they be with friends who can look after each other?

  

HELPING YOU TO ENJOY RESPONSIBLY

We believe that drinking responsibly is compatible with a healthy lifestyle. Find out more about how we’re taking steps to help our guests enjoy responsibly and how you can too!

Top tips for enjoying drink responsibly

There’s nothing wrong with enjoying a few, well-deserved drinks from time to time. Follow our top tips on how you can take steps to enjoy responsibly.

Responsible retailing at Greene King

We are committed to selling alcohol responsibly. In addition to supporting the principles laid out in the Portman Code of Practice, we have a number of initiatives and programmes in place to help us do so.

Our policy at Greene King is not to allow anyone under the age of 18 to consume alcohol within any of our premises. We believe this is a responsible approach to protect children and our licensed premises in the sale of alcohol.

 

TOP TIPS FOR ENJOYING ALCOHOL RESPONSIBLY

There’s nothing wrong with enjoying a few, well-deserved drinks from time to time. Here are our top tips on how to Enjoy Responsibly.

Easy ways to enjoy responsibly

It’s easy to enjoy a drink or two and still be safe. Try following these tips when you’re next drinking: 

Include food! Have something to eat before you start drinking – food in the stomach allows alcohol to be absorbed more slowly.
Pacing and spacing! Try not to rush your drink, just enjoy it! And space your alcoholic drinks out with a soft drink or water in between.
Don’t feel pressured. Be careful if you’re drinking in ‘rounds’ as you might end up drinking more and faster. Try pairing off to buy drinks instead. And avoid top-ups to make it easier for you to keep track of how much you’re drinking – it’s not rude to say no!
Watch out for that heavy-hand! When you’re at home, be careful not to pour much larger measures than you would get in a bar. Buy a drinks measure to check how much you’re drinking.
Stick with friends. Don’t go to parties alone and travel home with friends too.
Take a break! If you’ve had a big night out, avoid alcohol for a couple of days.
Keep track! The UK Government guidelines advise it’s safest not to drink more than 14 units per week and it’s best to spread that over three days or more.

 

BUYING ALCOHOL

Here’s a summary of the laws related to buying alcohol.

Buying alcohol if you're under 18 

If you’re under 18, it’s against the law for someone to sell you alcohol and it’s also illegal to buy or try to buy alcohol.

Don’t ask your older friends or relatives to buy alcohol for you if you’re under 18. It’s illegal for an adult to buy or try to buy alcohol for under 18s so you’ll be putting them in a difficult position!

If you’re under 18, it’s illegal to drink in public places and it’s also against the law to drink in licensed premises. Our policy at Greene King is not to allow anyone under the age of 18 to consume alcohol within any of our premises. We believe this is a responsible approach to protect children and our licensed premises in the sale of alcohol.

Buying alcohol if you're over 18

If you’re over 18 and lucky enough to look young enough, you may be asked to prove your age when buying alcohol.

Here at Greene King, all of our sites operate a ‘Challenge 21’ or ‘Challenge 25’ scheme. Our tills remind our team members behind the bar to check your age.

Acceptable ID could include a photo driving licence, a passport, a proof of age scheme card that carries the PASS hologram or military ID. Ultimately, it’s up to the discretion of the manager or the person responsible for running the premises as to whether they will accept certain forms of ID.

Don’t be tempted to buy alcohol for underage drinkers. It could result in a hefty fine!

 

WHERE TO FIND MORE INFORMATION

There is much more information about alcohol and drinking available, with many organisations offering support services too.

Where can i find out more?

Want to find out more about how to enjoy drink responsibly? There is a lot more information available on the following sites:

NHS choices provides lots of information and advice about drinking and alcohol. They also have a directory of alcohol addiction support services

Change 4 life has tips and guidance on how to ‘choose less booze’

Alcohol Concern provides lots of information, advice and guidance on drinking, including a range of factsheets and a local services directory

Learn about the on the health risks of alcohol and read their

UK provides information related to the law on alcohol and young people, the drink drive limit, drink driving penalties and the Licensing Act 2003

The Department of Health is responsible for Government health policy on harmful drinking

If you are worried about your own or someone else’s drinking there are many support services available to help. Talking to your GP is a good first step as they will be able to recommend organisations based in your local area.

Drinkline is a free, confidential helpline for anyone looking for support with alcohol. Call 0300 123 1110 (weekdays 9am-8pm, weekends 11am-4pm)

Alcoholics Anonymous is a free self-help group with a ’12-step’ programme

Al-Anon offer support for relatives and friends of problem drinkers

Addaction is a UK-wide treatment agency that helps individuals, families and communities to manage the effects of drug and alcohol misuse.

Adfam is a national charity working with families affected by drugs and alcohol. Adfam operates an online message board and database of local support groups.

The National Association for Children of Alcoholics (Nacoa) provides a free, confidential telephone and email helpline for children of alcohol-dependent parents and others concerned with their welfare. Call 0800 358 3456.

 

UK GOVERNMENT'S NEW ALCOHOL GUIDELINES

The UK Chief Medical Officers recently published new alcohol guidelines. The new advice is based on up-to-date evidence on the health effects of drinking. It gives guidance on regular drinking, single drinking sessions and drinking in pregnancy. Here’s a summary of the advice.

Guidance on regular drinking

For both men and women, it’s safest not to regularly drink more than 14 units per week to keep health risks from drinking alcohol to a low level.

If you do drink 14 units per week, it’s best to spread this evenly over three days or more. Having one or two heavy drinking sessions increases your risk of long-term illnesses, as well as accidents and injuries.

The risk of developing a range of illnesses – including cancer – increases with any amount you drink on a regular basis.

Guidance on single drinking sessions

Both men and women who want to keep their short-term health risks from a single drinking session to a low level are advised to:

Limit the total amount of alcohol you drink on any occasion
Drink slowly, with food and alternate with water

Guidance on drinking in pregnancy

If you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, the safest approach is not to drink any alcohol at all.

Drinking in pregnancy can lead to long-term harm to the baby, with the more you drink the greater the risk.

The risk of harm to the baby is likely to be low if a woman has drunk only small amounts of alcohol before she knew she was pregnant or during pregnancy. If you are worried about how much you have been drinking when pregnant, talk to your doctor or midwife.

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