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Five facts about Christmas drinking

With more socialising on the cards for many people this time of year, it's important to remember to stay within safe limits when you drink alcohol. Here are five facts to help you decide what is your safe limit:

1. It's a myth that a cold shower, big breakfast or a strong coffee will sober you up - on average it takes an hour for a unit of alcohol to pass through the body, and this can vary from person to person. Any amount of alcohol affects your ability to drive and you risk a hefty fine, driving ban and a criminal record. At worst you could cause a life-changing serious accident. 

2. A substantial meal before you go out will help to prevent any alcohol going straight to your head, and alternating alcoholic drinks with water or a soft drink will help you pace yourself.

3. It's a fact that people who drink before they leave home are more likely to binge drink and are at greater risk of getting involved in fights, accidents or developing alcohol poisoning. Leave the drinking until you're out. 

4. Plan your night: Set a limit on what you are going to drink and how much. Plan your journey - you're more likely to drink less if you know you're getting the last bus or train or have booked a taxi.

5. Don't forget that pubs can refuse to serve you if you are too drunk, and you can be fined for buying a drink for someone who is drunk. For more info see