Knowledge of alcohol guidelines lacking

Almost three-quarters (72%) of drinking occasions in Ireland take place in the home, according to the latest Drinkaware research, the Drinkaware Index.

During the Christmas party season, Drinkaware is encouraging everyone to get the facts on the guidelines and try out some tips for less harmful drinking, especially at home.

Setting personal restrictions including avoiding alcohol on a ‘work night’ (50%), not drinking for a fixed time period (42%) and staying out of rounds (40%) are the most commonly used moderation techniques by Irish adults who drink, according to the Index.

The three top tips for less harmful drinking at home this Christmas from Drinkaware are:

Always use a measure for spirits or wine. Never free-pour – this can make it almost impossible to know how much you are drinking.

Alternate each drink with a glass of water to reduce the dehydration associated with alcohol.

Stock up on non-alcoholic alternatives for you and your guests.

Sheena Horgan, CEO, Drinkaware said: “Christmas is a time for celebration, which is something we all look forward to, but it also presents more opportunities to drink than any other. The Drinkaware Index research clearly shows that the majority of people – 98% – do not know the low-risk alcohol guidelines, which in turn means they don’t have a clear understanding of what misuse is or how at risk they may be.

“Drinking at home can present its own issues that make it more likely a person will drink more alcohol than intended. There are a number of factors at play here – people are comfortable, relaxed – but top of list really is free-pouring of spirits and wine”.

“Our message this Christmas is to plan ahead. If you will be entertaining guests in your home or would simply like to keep track of your own drinking over the festive season, order a free pack now.”


The HSE low-risk alcohol guidelines are: 11 standard drinks (110g pure alcohol) spread out over the week for women; 17 standard drinks (170g pure alcohol) spread out over the week for men; Allow for at least two alcohol-free days in the week. Drinking above these guidelines and in particular, binge drinking (consuming six or more standard drinks in one sitting), further increases the risks associated with alcohol.


Drinkaware’s Get the Facts pack is free of charge and available to order at