What is one unit of alcohol?

Perhaps you already knew that most drinks contain more than one unit of alcohol, As you can see from the table of alcoholic beverages below with the number of units of alcohol contained in each.

In South Africa one unit of alcohol is accepted as about 10ml of 100% pure alcohol. Such a unit of alcohol is equivalent to 0.02 grams of alcohol per 100ml of blood. Contrary to popular belief one drink is not equivalent to one unit of alcohol.

Volume% of Alcohol in DrinkUnits of Alcohol
Can of lager or cider500ml4%2 units
Glass of wine175ml14%2.5 units
Spirit and Mixer25ml40%1 units
Alcopop (flavoured alcohol drinks)400ml5%2 units
Cocktail (5 different alcoholic components125ml40%5 units


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