Everyday Common-or-Garden Binge Drinking
Posted by softestpawn on August 3, 2008
Some straightforward calculations for a pleasant evening at home; a G&T to start, a bottle of wine and a whisky before bed. Some people may prefer alternative tipples.
I’m using the ‘standard’ measures and absorption rates such as those found on the BUPA site here or the NHS site here. Old estimates are 6 units per bottle of wine at around 8%; these days we expect about 9 units in a bottle of 12%. So let’s assume a glass of wine – a fifth of a bottle – is 2 units.
A gin and tonic on arriving home at 6pm: +2 units (a pub double) = 2 in body
Glass of wine cooking supper at 7pm: +2 units – 1 absorbed = 3 units in body.
A glass with supper at 8pm: +2 units; -1 = 4 units in body (just about in drivable limits, though of course I wouldn’t recommend it, oh no, etc)
Rest of bottle over evening until 11pm: +5 units – 3 = 6 units in body
Largish Whishky before bed: +2 unitsh = 8 in body
8 hours later, at waking up, none.
This is a daily total of 13 units, and there’s some leeway for a vodka in the morning cornflakes. Let’s add a pint at lunch during the week (3 units) and we’re daily drinking – without getting drunk – nearly twice the 8 units that might count as ‘binge drinking’.
For a week, assume similar on Friday evening but in the pub drinking beer, add a couple of relaxing pints in the pub on Saturday afternoon (6 units) watching the footie, and another bottle of wine on Sunday lunch and afternoon (9 units) with some friends, and we have a total of (26×5 + 19 + 21 = ) 145 units per week.
Of course these are simple calculations and there are lots of caveats for individual build, food, absorption rates, tolerence, getting-home times, preferences for sticky tongue, gummy eyes, etc, but most of us can clearly far far exceed the ‘recommended limits’ without at any time being drunk, or over the limit to drive during normal driving times.
Make of it what you will.
(ETA: of course, if you’re lying about it, you’ll need to drink twice as much)