Melbourne Cup in Moderation

By Rebecca

The Melbourne Cup is the race that stops the nation, every year on the first Tuesday in November many Australian's flock to watch the event, dress to impress, tip a possible winning horse and participate in the fun. With this being said the celebrations lead to celebratory drinks and it's important to be aware of the effects of alcohol before attempting to drive home.

(The following information is taken from

The legal limit in Australia is set at .05 blood alcohol concentration (BAC) for full licence holders. Learners and Provisional license holders must have a .00 BAC. Other licence types may vary.

The effects of alcohol on driving can include:

  • Inability to judge speed and distances
  • reduced co-ordination and concentration
  • a false sense of confidence and an increased tendency to take risks
  • slower reaction times
  • impaired vision and a minimised perception of obstacles

If you are planning to drink for this occasion, the safest option is to arrange alternative transport ahead of time, use public transport or a ride-sharing service, or arrange for a lift to be certain you get home safely.

Otherwise, you must ensure that you drink responsibly and use the following as a guide:

One alcoholic beverage doesn’t always equal 1 standard drink

In Australia, a standard drink refers to 10 grams of alcohol (equivalent to 12.5ml of alcohol).  On average, this is how much the human body can process in one hour.

375ml can low-strength beer (2.7% alcohol) = 0.8 standard drinks
375ml can mid-strength beer (3.5% alcohol) = 1 standard drink
375ml can full-strength beer (4.8% alcohol) = 1.4 standard drinks
100ml red wine (13.5% alcohol) = 1 standard drink
150ml red wine (13.5% alcohol) = 1.6 standard drinks (average restaurant serving)
100ml white wine (11.5% alcohol) = 0.9 standard drinks
150ml white wine (11.5% alcohol) = 1.4 standard drinks (average restaurant serving)
30ml spirits (40% alcohol) = 1 standard drink
275ml pre-mix spirits (approx. 5% alcohol) = 1.1 standard drinks
330ml pre-mix spirits (approx. 5% alcohol) = 1.2 standard drinks
375ml pre-mix spirits (approx. 5% alcohol) = 1.5 standard drinks

With all of this considered it is also essential for motorists to take care and watch out for pedestrians that may be entering or exiting the road.

The Melbourne Cup is a colourful and exciting time of the year for fashion, fascinators, and frolics; kick up your heels, drive safely and most importantly drink in moderation.

Back to Top