Standard Drink and Alcohol Guidelines | RSA Online NSW

Drinking alcohol is a prevalent social activity that almost everyone partakes in at some point in their lives. Throughout human history, alcohol drinking has been transformed and industrialised for the benefit of both the economy and society. 

One aspect of drinking in modern times is the practice of responsible drinking – RSA Online NSW. Responsible drinking isn’t just a concept instilled by parents to their adolescent children; some guidelines are set out for servers of alcohol by law.

Alcohol affects both the body and mind when consumed. It relaxes a person’s inhibitions and makes them more prone to acting on reckless impulses. Alcohol intoxication can lead to a person being unruly, and in worse scenarios, they might pick fights with others, destroy property, harm themselves intentionally or unintentionally, or drive themselves home. These scenarios are particularly concerning as they not only put a person’s well-being at risk, but they place others at risk as well.

Responsible drinking guidelines are intended to keep those who partake in alcohol drinking from becoming a danger to themselves or others. The effects of alcohol can be damaging under certain circumstances, hence the creation of responsible drinking guidelines.

So what are some of these guidelines? How do they relate to responsible service of alcohol?

Let’s start with what constitutes a standard drink. A standard drink is a drink that has 10 grams of alcohol, regardless of the container it’s poured into or the type of alcohol it is. This means that a drink can be in a can, bottle, or glass, and it would still qualify as a standard drink. Beers, wines, and spirits are all standard drinks, depending on the served amount. Any alcohol that measures 10 grams when served in any given container is a standard drink.

Then there’s consumption. For the average healthy adult, the responsible drinking practice is up to 2 standard drinks a day, to reduce the risk of alcohol-related diseases or harm. Consuming three drinks, you will already start to notice the effects; four drinks is already risking injuries from intoxicated behaviour, as well as raising the risks of liver disease, heart disease, sleep disorders, and painful ulcers.

In New South Wales, liquor laws state that you cannot sell and supply alcohol to people who are intoxicated. The NSW Liquor Act of 2007 describes an intoxicated person as someone whose speech, balance, coordination, or behaviours is noticeably affected, and it is reasonable to believe that these displayed traits have been brought on by excessive drinking, given the circumstances the person is found in. Liquor licensees are obligated to ensure that alcohol is served responsibly within their premises, as they are liable to sanctions like fines, higher licence fees, and suspension or cancellation of licence otherwise.

The New South Wales Department of Industry – Liquor and Gaming have articles titled “GL4002 Prevention of intoxication on licensed premises guidelines” and “GL4003 Intoxication Guidelines” to help establishment owners and liquor licensees serve alcohol responsibly within the premises of their venue.

If you happen to be interested in responsible service of alcohol, there are RSA Online NSW courses available. Sign up for an RSA course online today!