New research has revealed that almost two-thirds of drinkers in the UK over-indulge on alcohol over the festive season more than they usually do.

The YouGove poll for alcohol education charity Drinkaware also revealed that one in five (18 per cent) say they typically experience more hangovers during this period.

It found that drinkers who work are more likely to feel pressured to drink at their work party (33 per cent) than other times of year. And more than a quarter (29 per cent) feel extra pressure to drink over the festive period with their work colleagues.

Drinkaware CEO Elaine Hindal said: "This new research shows just how much drinking is ingrained within the UK's work culture during the festive period, with many people feeling more pressure to drink.

"Over-indulging can lead to mistakes, regrets and hangovers - as well as increasing the risk of developing a range of diseases if consumption regularly exceeds the Chief Medical Officers' low risk drinking guidelines of 14 units of alcohol a week.

"Pubs, bars and clubs will be busy with revellers this season, but licensees shouldn't forget that they're also employers. They could be asking themselves whether their celebration culture is centred too heavily around alcohol and if they can offer alternative choices at their team Christmas parties."

More than one in ten (13 per cent) UK drinkers admit they are avoiding social occasions this festive season because of the pressure to drink alcohol.

Elaine Hindal added: "Pubs, clubs and bars can play an important part in reducing the alcohol harms that arise when people are pressured into drinking too much over the festive season.

"By putting in place some simple measures, operators can help customers to control their drinking, and make sure that those who are choosing not to drink alcohol - whether because they're driving or for other reasons - feel welcome in their venue.

"These could include: offering an interesting range of low and no alcohol drinks, selecting house wines at the lower end of the ABV scale, and making them available in 125ml serves, and serving food for the same hours as drinks are served."

Drinkaware also recommends equipping team members to spot the signs of someone who is drinking more than they should, perhaps because of peer pressure. 

Also, if you suspect a customer is buying alcohol for someone who is already drunk - or who is drunk themselves - then selling them a drink is against the law.

New posters have been produced by Drinkaware and the British Beer and Pub Association to help communicate this to customers. Download it by visiting https://www.drinkaware.co.uk.