Enjoy Alcohol Responsibly - Know Your Limits

If you drink alcohol, it's important to know how to drink responsibly and to stay within your alcohol tolerance level. If you don't, you could place your friends at risk and put yourself in grave danger.

The now common practice of pre-drinking or pre-loading can potentially put your safety at risk. Pre-loading is planned heavy drinking, usually at private residences, prior to attending a social event, typically at a bar or nightclub.

This is a significant safety problem for drinkers as there is now significant evidence that it is not only harmful to the individuals concerned, but is associated with increased levels of violence. It is becoming increasingly common for young people to enter licensed premises (and private functions) already intoxicated, and then continue to be served alcohol.

Binge drinking is the most obvious example of irresponsible drinking. Binge drinking can have many different meanings, but generally refers to drinking heavily over a short period of time with the intention of becoming intoxicated, resulting in immediate and severe intoxication.

Recent research shows that the pattern of young people’s drinking is changing. More young people are drinking, and when they drink, they drink more. This is particularly evident among young women. This attitude of drinking to excess has seen the rise of the drink till you drop culture. This results in impaired decision making and poor choices which place drinker’s safety at risk.

If you want to drink responsibly, you have to have a plan, know your limits, and know how to spot and avoid dangerous situations.

Being a responsible drinker basically means:

  • Making sure you’re safe,
  • Making sure other people are safe,
  • Actively avoiding dangerous situations,
  • Having a positive drinking experience.
Enjoy Alcohol Responsibly - Know Your Limits

Irresponsible drinking can increase the risk of:

  • Injury from falls,
  • Becoming involved in fights,
  • Injury from car accidents,
  • Unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases,
  • Shame and embarrassment about your behaviour,
  • Loss of valuable items such as mobile phones,
  • Financial loss through reckless spending while intoxicated, or
  • Loss of income through time off work.

Here are some tips for responsible drinking:

  • Avoid binge drinking,
  • Decide on a drink limit and stick to it,
  • Eat while you are drinking,
  • Alternate alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks,
  • Drink water - stay hydrated,
  • Avoid shouts - drink at your own pace,
  • Don’t be pressured into drinking more than you want,
  • Don't pressure others into drinking more than they want,
  • Practice how to refuse a drink - you don't have to take one just because it's offered,
  • Avoid drinking games,
  • Get involved in other activities, e.g. dancing or playing pool,
  • Avoid energy drinks and other stimulants if you are drinking alcohol,
  • Avoid top-ups - finish each drink before you have another,
  • Watch out for larger measures at home or at a party compared with standard drink measures,
  • Know how many standard drinks are in the alcohol you are drinking,
  • Drink light or mid strength beer, and
  • Avoid situations that may lead to confrontation or conflict.

Tell us what you think

Please take a few moments to answer the following questions in relation to how alcohol impacts your perceptions of safety. The answers you provide will give us a better understanding of community attitudes to alcohol and safety. There are a couple of further questions on each page of this site.

The answers you choose to provide will give us a better understanding of community attitudes to alcohol and safety. Therefore, we are seeking your honest feedback in relation to your personal experiences with alcohol. You are not required to identify yourself, therefore, your anonymity is assured. Participation is completely voluntary and can be terminated at any time.

In the last 6 months I have 'pre-load' before going out to drink at licensed premises.
Never Sometimes Always    
When I 'pre-load' before going out, I find it easy to gain entry to licensed premises?
Never Sometimes Always    
How many of your friends 'drink till they drop'?
None Some Most All  
When I go out to drink alcohol I always plan to drink responsibly?
Never Sometimes Most times Always  
When out with friends, I find it very difficult to say 'no' when I have reached my alcohol limit?
Never Sometimes Most times Always  
Please consider answering the questions at the end of each of the 'Messages'.

Last updated April 2014