Uk Christmas Drinking Habits

# Happy Christmas and a Merry New Year The holidays have finally arrived! All over the UK, people are putting thousands of pounds worth of tech under their Christmas trees and heading off to the supermarkets to stock up on enough alcohol to last over the festive period. Ushering in the Christmas spirit are the holiday tunes on the radio, the eager anticipation of the new John Lewis advert, and the yearly shock tactic reminders of the risks of driving under the influence of alcohol. ## Usually Alcohol and Gadgets Don’t Mix! The thought of this got the Gadget Buddy team thinking. In the technologically advanced world we live in, where we can start our car engines from the comfort of bed and turn the heating on at home whilst sat on the train back from work, is there a way mobile technology could prevent alcohol related accidents on the road? To what extent does the UK enjoy a festive and New Year tipple? Furthermore, how do drinking habits differ across the UK? And how are seasonal drink driving campaigns actually affecting our knowledge and therefore our actions? ![Xmas cocktails](/api/image/xmas_cocktails - 36-min1.jpg)

Our first question could be answered quite simply, one quick web search and we were able to pin down domestic use breathalysers. Not exactly the refined or high tech solution we were looking for, a little more research uncovered a specific type of breathalyser that was small enough to go on your key chain and designed to work with your smartphone (everyone has one of those don’t they). ![Xmas cocktails](/api/image/xmas_cocktails.three.18.12.2015jpg-min.jpg)

Passing up the perfect opportunity for a drink, we roped in technology expert, co-founder of Harkable and former MySpace UK Editor Will Francis to review two of the devices we found. Click here to check out his thoughts: Link The answers to the latter questions proved more difficult, the web wasn’t enough – only people could tell us what we wanted to know, lots & lots of people. ## Filling in the Blanks To give us a better idea we commissioned YouGov to quiz over 2,000 UK adults aged 18 and above for what we wanted to know. The questions (abbreviated):
  1. Please imagine someone had consumed approximately 6 units of alcohol... Approximately how long do you think they would have to wait until their blood alcohol level reaches 0%?
  2. Have you EVER heard of smartphone breathalysers?
  3. Approximately how many units of alcohol do you consume during the Christmas period in an average year? (Christmas Eve, Christmas Day & Boxing Day)
## Here are some of our most interesting findings: *Note:* In reading the below, please consider the following information from Drink Aware, 1 pint of 4% strength beer is the equivalent of 2 units of alcohol, whilst a small glass of 12% wine is the equivalent of 1.5 units*.

### We are not the only ones – almost nobody has heard of Smartphone Breathalysers
  • Whilst awareness of Smartphone breathalysers was poor around the country with only 15% of all GB adults aware of them, people in the North East topped the charts with 91% of the population unaware that the devices exist
### Surprising results amongst students and those aged between 18 and 24
  • Young people are known to process alcohol slower than adults, but nearly half of all full time students questioned (49%) think that it takes 6 hours or less for someone to process 6 units of alcohol. Potentially meaning thousands of students may be inadvertently under the influence of alcohol whilst going about day to day activities
  • 18-24 year olds lead the way in alcohol abstinence with 35% not drinking alcohol, the second highest abstinence rates were 25-34 year olds and people over 55 of which 25% do not to consume alcohol
  • 1 in 5 (22%) of 18-24 year olds will consume more than 15 units of alcohol over Christmas Eve, Christmas Day & Boxing day in an average year. The recommended daily allowance for an adult man is just 3-4 units a day, and 2-3 units a day for women*
### The Christmas Alcohol Battle of the Sexes
  • 11% of men admit to drinking over 30 units of alcohol over Christmas Eve, Day & Boxing Day, compared to just 3% of women
  • 40% of men think that it will take 6 hours or less for your blood alcohol to reach 0 after consuming 6 units of alcohol, potentially meaning that thousands if not millions of men may unknowingly be driving or going about everyday activities whilst under the influence of alcohol
  • 44% of men will drink over the recommended daily allowance of alcohol over Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day, compared with just 29% of women
### Regional Seasonal Drinking Differences
  • 40% of people in London said they consume over 10 Units of alcohol between Christmas Eve and Boxing Day in an average year
  • People in the Northeast consume higher quantities over the Christmas period in an average year with 43% admitting to consuming over 10 units between Christmas eve and Boxing day
  • The lowest percentage came from respondents in the east midlands with 30% drinking 10 units or more
  • The biggest Christmas drinkers in Britain seem to be in Yorkshire and the Humber with 10% of people polled admitting to drinking more than 30 units of alcohol over Christmas eve, Christmas day & Boxing day in an average year, this is 10 times the volume of people in the east of England (1%) who drink 30+ units
### How effective are anti-drink driving campaigns?
  • 36% of people in England think that it takes 6 hours or less for 6 units of alcohol to be removed from your blood
  • 54% of people think it takes 7 hours or more for their body to process 6 units of alcohol
  • 11% of people don’t know how long it takes for 6 units of alcohol to be removed from your blood
## In conclusion In conclusion the stats for the poll indicate that government agencies and charities are making some headway in spreading alcohol awareness, however overall the numbers reveal that there is still lots of confusion surrounding how long the body takes to process alcohol. In the future, devices like the smartphone breathalyser might help change actions and further improve awareness. To review the exact stats from the Gadget buddy survey please click the following link: Click here to download the full YouGov report Please remember, the safest way to ensure you remain safe and sound on the road all year round is simply to choose not to drink and drive. Instead, why not take a taxi or take turns being the nominated sober driver?

Sources:
https://www.drinkaware.co.uk/check-the-facts/what-is-alcohol/what-is-an-alcohol-unit
https://www.drinkaware.co.uk/check-the-facts/what-is-alcohol/daily-guidelines