Know Your Limit

Know Your Limit - A rule of thumb guide

We don't recommend drinking alcohol and driving. But if you do choose to have a social drink, these guidelines should help you stay on the right side of the 250mcg legal limit.

This rule of thumb guide is suitable for most adults and was developed in consultation with the Institute of Environmental Science and Research Limited (ESR).
There is no doubt that the introduction of the lowered limits for drink driving in December last year had a major negative impact on a number of hospitality businesses, particularly those who have no alternative transport options.

It is clear that the public are confused about what the lowered limits mean and what, if anything, they can drink and still drive safely under the limit. Hospitality New Zealand has been working closely with Cheers! and the Institute of Environmental Science and Research Ltd (ESR) to come up with a rule of thumb to provide information and guidance to the public as to how much they can safely drink and stay on the right side of the new 250mcg legal limit.

The rule of thumb for men is three standard drinks over two hours (3 over 2), and for women two standard drinks over two hours (2 over 2).

Know Your Limit Collateral - FREE to download

To help all hospitality businesses who want to provide their customers with some guidance to help them know their limits the following files are available.

A3 poster - Print File
setting out the rule of thumb

Coasters - Print File
print on both sides for men and women

Table Talkers - Print FIle
print and fold in the middle to put on tables, at point of purchase, reception desks, hotel rooms, anywhere.

Please feel free to use these Printer Proof files to produce your own collateral, post on social media and/or use on electronic screens.

How can I order more posters and table talkers?

Members of Hospitality NZ can place an order for packets of table-talkers (20 in a pack) or posters (A3 size) by calling our National Service Centre on 0800 500 503.

The cost of an A3 poster is $1 (incl GST) and a pack of 20 table-talkers is $5 (incl GST), plus the cost of postage and packaging.

Educating the public

Leading into summer a PR campaign on 'Know Your Limit' is scheduled for early November 2015. This is to support the new rules of thumb, to drive public awareness and help educate the public to let them know their limit under the lowered drink drive legislation.

So what's a standard drink?

The Know Your Limit rule of thumb to stay within the legal limit, is 3 drinks over 2 hours for men, 2 drinks over 2 hours for women. But that’s standard drinks, not the drinks that get served in a bar or we pour for ourselves. So keeping track of how much alcohol you’ve drunk isn’t as simple as counting your drinks.

It’s the amount of alcohol your body can process in one hour. And it’s the same amount for everyone, whether you’re big, little, man, woman.

The Cheers! message is simple 1 = 1.

One standard drink takes your body one hour to process. So, if you have three standard drinks, it will take three hours for your body to process them.

How much is a standard drink?

Check out Cheers standard drinks here and use the standard drink information on the bottle - it’ll look like this

Below is a simple guide to give an indication of what a standard drink is.

Once you know how, keeping track of the number of standard drinks you have is the easiest way to stay social.

And remember, it’s safest not to drink and drive.

Who are Cheers!

Cheers! is an industry funded programme that provides the facts and tools drinkers need to stay safe and sociable when they’re drinking.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact us on

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