Look out for smaller measures

Published: 6 November 2014

The council’s licensing team is reminding borough residents that if they order a drink in a pub or restaurant they are entitled to demand a smaller measure.

It was already a condition of their license that pubs, bars, restaurants and any other licenced premises must provide alcohol in the following measures:

  • Beer or cider – half a pint
  • Gin, rum, whisky and vodka – 25ml or 35ml
  • Wine – 125ml

The licensing team has run a sustained campaign to remind pubs about this requirement , and have spread the message to consumers via Brightside magazine and other media.  Since October 1 it is also now the law that the availability of these smaller measures must be clearly displayed on a printed menu, price-list or other printed material that customers can easily see in the licensed premises.

In addition if a customer does not specify what size drink they want, staff must make the customer aware of the availability of the smaller measures and not just serve them larger measures as a matter of course.

Councillor Jim Maddan is the council’s health spokesman and chairman of the Alcohol Alliance, made up of the council, local GPs, healthcare providers and other local organisations. The Alliance is working together to reduce the level of problem drinking in the borough.

He said:  “For years we have been trying to get the message across that people who go out for a drink do not have to accept some of the massive measures often poured by bartenders. A large glass of wine can be 250ml – that’s a third of a bottle!

These measures add up and people can unknowingly find themselves drinking far too much.

“We hope that by making it compulsory for licenced premises to tell customers that smaller measures are available, the public will start taking more control of the size of drink they consume.”

If you think you may need help with your alcohol intake, find out about local support services on the Adult Care Information Service

If you are a licensee and would like to find out more about the changes, contact the licensing team by email: licensing@wandsworth.gov.uk.