Drivers are being warned to watch out for over-generous measures when indulging in alcohol over the coming New Year celebrations. The call comes after research from insurance company Direct Line showed the majority of motorists will over-pour when asked to serve a measure of alcohol.

The study asked 100 participants aged 18 to 86 to free-pour their standard home measures of wine and spirits, then pour what they believed to be 125 ml and 175 ml glasses of wine and 25 ml and 50 ml measures of spirits. The results showed noticeable discrepancies between the official measures served in pubs and restaurants and the amounts poured by participants.

Drunk man at pub drinking alcohol stopped from talking car keys

When asked to pour a 125 ml glass of wine, 51 percent over-poured, with 13 percent pouring a glass of at least 175 ml and five percent pouring more than 200 ml. When asked to pour a 175 ml glass, almost two-thirds (62 percent) over-poured, with 14 percent pouring at least 250 ml – a third of a standard bottle.

Spirits proved even more troublesome for participants, with more than three-quarters over-pouring a 25 ml measure, with 18 percent pouring at least 50 ml. When asked to pour a 50 ml ‘double’ measure, 63 percent poured too much, with almost a quarter dishing out more than 75 ml.

Car key with alcohol drinks on a table in a pub

And when asked to pour their standard ‘home’ measure, the average participant poured 190 ml of wine – more than a ‘large’ 175 ml pub measure – with 18 percent pouring at least 250 ml. The average home spirit measure, meanwhile, measures 62 ml, which is bigger than a double measure, and a quarter of people put more than a treble measure (75 ml) of gin in their gin and tonic.

The figures become somewhat concerning when you consider the research found almost one in five (18 percent) would drink alcohol if they were the designated driver, while 11 percent insist on pouring their own measures. Worse still, 14 percent admit having driven when they thought they were over the limit.

“This research is a warning to anyone planning to visit someone else’s home over the New Year period, as even one glass of home poured alcohol could push someone over the limit,” said Direct Line’s Simon Henrick. “It isn’t just the safety of the driver and passengers in their car that are at risk if a driver is over the limit, it is everyone else on the road too.

“Due to the impact of Covid-19 more people will be drinking at home this New Year than any other. If a driver chooses to have a drink at home or at someone else’s house within their ‘bubble’ or in someone else’s garden for those in lower tiers and then drive, it is vital they know how much alcohol they are consuming, before getting behind the wheel. The only way anyone can be sure that they are safe to drive in this situation, is if they don’t have any alcohol at all.”

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