Results of a 2014 survey into peoples’ drinking habits revealed 58% of the adult population drank at least some alcohol in the week before being interviewed, down from 64% ten years ago.
Of those who had drunk, 45% drank more than 4.67 units, a third of the new weekly guideline, on their heaviest drinking day.
However, the ONS also found less than half of young people aged between 16-24 reported drinking alcohol in the week being interviewed.
Statistician Jamie Jenkins said: “It’s clear from these figures that although there are now more people, especially younger ones, who don’t drink alcohol at all, there is still a significant group of other people who are drinking well in excess of the latest health advice.”
New government guidance published in January this year that said both men and women should not drink more than 14 units of alcohol a week was labelled ‘disappointing’ by trade bodies and widely criticised by licensees.
Mike Benner, managing director of the Society for Independent Brewers said he thought men who regularly consume between 14 and 21 units of alcohol at week would be ‘surprised’ to suddenly find themselves in the ‘at risk’ category, which could undermine the guidelines’ credibility with responsible drinkers.
Licensee Alan Vaughan, who runs the Countrymann Inn in Shipley, said that people ‘know their own limits.’