Information on alcohol units, UK drink driving laws and drinking while pregnant.

Units of alcohol

Units are a simple way of expressing the quantity of pure alcohol in a drink. Men and women are advised that it’s safest not to drink more than 14 units a week – these should be spread evenly over a week (maximum 2-3 units a days), with 2-3 days being alcohol free.

Some groups of people are likely to be affected more by alcohol and should be more careful of their level of drinking on any one occasion:

  • young adults
  • older people
  • those with low body weight
  • those with other health problems
  • those on medicines or other drugs
NHS- units of alcohol

Drinking alcohol in pregnancy

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

If you have drunk small amounts of alcohol and then found out you are pregnant, you should avoid drinking any more. If you are worried about the risk to your baby, please see you midwife or GP.

Drinking alcohol while pregnant

Drinking alcohol and the law


There are strict alcohol limits for drivers, but it’s hard to say how many drinks this equates to as it’s different for each person so it’s safest not to drink any alcohol if you intend to drive.

A number of factors affect the way that alcohol has an impact on your ability to drive, these include-

  • Your weight, age, gender and metabolism (the rate that your body uses energy)
  • The type and amount of alcohol you drink
  • What and when you’ve eaten
  • Your stress levels at the time.

Driving the morning after you have had a heavy drinking session could be just as dangerous so if you are intending to drink heavily, ensure that you don’t need to drive the next day. For more information about the legal limits of alcohol please follow the link below.

Drink Drive limit -

Penalties for drink driving

You could be imprisoned, banned from driving and face a fine if found guilty of drink-driving. If you are in charge of a vehicle while above the legal limit or unfit through drink, you could receive :

  • 3 months imprisonment
  • up to £2,500 fine
  • a possible driving ban

If you drive or attempt to drive while above the legal limit or are unfit through drink you could:

  • receive a 6 month ban
  • receive an unlimited fine
  • receive a ban from driving for at least a year (3 years if convicted twice in 10 years)
Drink driving penalties -