We all like to have fun and be social, but it's important to keep yourself on track and out of trouble when you drink. Below are some things to consider to make sure you're drinking responsibly.
What is a Standard Drink?
A standard drink is how much alcohol the average person can process in one hour. You can’t speed this process up, and your body can only deal with one drink at a time.
The time your body takes to process alcohol does depend on several other factors like your age, weight and health condition. As a general guideline however, the following standards can be used:
- 1 shot 40% ABV Spirit = 1 Standard Drink
- 330ml bottle 4% ABV Beer = 1 Standard Drink
- 100ml glass 13% ABV Wine = 1 Standard Drink
For more information on standard drinks, see alcohol.org.nz.
Public place liquor bans can now be enforced in areas such as carparks and school grounds, in addition to streets and parks. If a ban is in place you can’t drink or have an open container of alcohol in these areas. If you’re caught breaking the ban a $250 fine applies.
To Drive or Not to Drive
From 1 December 2014 the blood alcohol content for drivers 20 years or older was lowered.
The breath alcohol limit for adult drivers is now 250 micrograms (mcg) of alcohol per litre of breath. The blood alcohol limit for adult drivers is now 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood.
Drivers who commit an offence between 251-400mcg of breath will face infringement fee of $200 and will receive 50 demerit points. Drivers who accumulate 100 or more demerit points from driving offences within two years receive a three month driver licence suspension.
The zero alcohol limit for drivers under the age of 20 years remains the same.
It is difficult to say how many alcoholic drinks you can have before you reach these limits. It depends on many factors, including:
- whether you are male or female
- your size
- how much food you have eaten
Because of this, and because even small amounts of alcohol can affect your driving, the best advice is: if you drink at all, don't drive. If you've been drinking, call a taxi, take a bus or get someone who hasn't been drinking, such as a friend or 'dial-a-driver', to drive you home.
If you're hosting a party, you are responsible for the safety and welfare of your guests. Here are some quick tips on how to be a good and responsible host:
- Serve food - good food and drink is the lifeblood of a great party. Opt for cheeses and veggies and less salty foods as salt make people thirsty and thus more likely to drink
- Ensure that there are plenty of non alcoholic drinks available. A good idea is to make up a non-alcoholic punch.
- Pace your own drinks so you’re alert just in case something needs your immediate and full attention
- Provide extra blankets and pillows for people to spend the night
- Make sure none of your guests who have been drinking are driving home
For more tips on drinking responsibly, visit cheers.org.nz.