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Alcohol Unit Calculation

Alcohol Unit Calculation


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Alcohol Unit Calculation

Visit for guidance on units of alcohol, personal alcohol unit calculators and more information on your health and wellbeing.



The glasses below contain the same amount of alcohol.

Drink Calculation Image

The formula generally used to work out the units of alcohol consumed is:

Alcohol Strength (ABV) % x Volume = units


A pint works out at 568ml, a small wine glass is usually 125ml for a large measure it is 250 ml, and a single measure of spirits is 25ml. The strength of the alcohol is listed on the bottle as a % vol. Some examples therefore:

A glass of wine (12% Alcohol Strength)

12 x 125 = 1.5 units



A medium glass of wine (12% Alcohol Strength)

12 x 175 = 2.1 units



 A large Glass of wine (12% Alcohol Strength)

12 x 175 = 3 units



A single malt whisky (40% Alcohol strength)

40 x 25 = 1 unit



A pint of beer (4.5% Alcohol strength)

4.5 x 568 = 2.56 units


It is recommended that both men and women should not regularly drink  more than 14 units per week to keep health risks from drinking alcohol low. If you do drink up to 14 units per week, it's best to spread these evenly across a few days and have at least two drink-free days a week. 

Alcohol Limits

The legal limit for driving is 80 micrograms of alcohol per 100 ml of blood. The breath test limit is 35micrograms in 100ml of breath

There is no fail safe guide as to how much you can drink to stay under this limit.

The amount and type of alcoholic drink, and your height, weight and metabolism will all play their part.

Advice for drinking and driving:

Never offer a drink to a driver

Stick to non-alcoholic and soft drinks

Arrange for someone who is not drinking to drive

Take a taxi

Use public transport

Stay overnight

The only safe course is not to drink and drive

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