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Boozy Brits at risk on holiday

Lager on beach16/08/13

By Daniel Machin

British holidaymakers are being warned to not drink too much alcohol when away with their family or friends this summer.

A survey from the Foreign Office (FO) shows that Brits are putting themselves at risk overseas by drinking more than they can handle.

The poll of 2,479 UK adults, including 552 in the 16-24 age range, highlights a lack of understanding when it comes to the consequences of consuming excess alcohol, particularly among the younger generation.

As many as 23 per cent of 16-24 year olds have gone swimming under the influence on holiday abroad, while 11 per cent have put themselves in a vulnerable situation with a stranger when drunk.

Some 26 per cent have even done something they were ashamed of while worse for wear through drink on vacation.

"We're not telling people to stop drinking but we do want people to be aware of the consequences of drinking to excess - and our research shows almost half of young people understand them already," said FO consular assistance deputy head Gavin Cook.

"Activities which may be legal in the UK may not be legal in another country. To avoid a night in a jail cell or even a criminal record, it's important to research local laws and customs, including on alcohol consumption, before you go."

A considerable 51 per cent of 16-24 year olds claim they are likely to drink more on holiday than at home, with 62 per cent attributing this to the cheapness of alcohol abroad.

Of these young people, 40 per cent feel pressure from friends to drink more than they want to on trips.

"Drinking can impair judgment," added Mr Cook. "The effect of being hospitalised or arrested overseas goes far beyond a ruined holiday and can have a devastating impact on family and friends - financially and emotionally.

"So our message is have fun in the sun, but drink responsibly so you don't put yourself at risk of harm."

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