Alcohol evidence and policy

BMJ 2004; 328 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.328.7449.1203 (Published 13 May 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;328:1203
  1. George J Addis, retired consultant physician (gjaddismd{at}aol.com)
  1. 49 Whittingehame Court, 3 Daventry Drive, Glasgow G12 0BQ

    Decimalise measure of alcohol

    EDITOR—With respect to Plant's editorial on the alcohol harm reduction strategy for England,1 the “unit of alcohol” was really intended to suit imperial measure, but it is far too complex and vague to be of any practical use to people on an evening out, or even in.

    Most people could manage the concept of actual millilitres of alcohol in each glass and keep a running total. It would be ideal to provide a simple pharmacokinetic chart linking millilitres consumed, body mass index, and liver function to failing the breathalyser test, but it would be a useless defence in court.

    In short: no units, just millilitres.


    • Competing interests None declared


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