The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 728 people will be injured or killed each day in drunk driving accidents between Thanksgiving and New Year’s—a rate two to three times higher than the rest of the year.
The spike in binge drinking and drunk driving this time of year is due in part to increased opportunities to imbibe. Parties and celebrations are a wonderful part of the holiday season, however some revelers will drink their way through the evening and try to take to the road after. If you are hosting a holiday celebration, here are 6 tips to help your guests safely enjoy the “spirits” of the season:
- Have plenty of alcohol-free choices available for designated drivers or those who don’t wish to consume alcohol. In addition to soft drinks, consider serving up some “mocktails” to give your non-drinking guests some celebration-worthy options.
- Offer cheese to go with that wine. Guests are more likely to become inebriated—and to leave—if they are drinking on an empty stomach. Serving food encourages people to drink more moderately and slows down the effects of alcohol.
- Invite guests to crash—at your place, that is. The easiest way to avoid driving drunk is not to drive at all. If your celebration will go into the wee hours, turn it into a slumber party to keep intoxicated friends off the road.
- Collect numbers for local taxi companies and have them handy and visible. People are more likely to call a cab when it is easy and convenient. Or simply make the choice for them by arranging to have cabs waiting at the end of the evening to take your guests home.
- Hire a bartender for the night. A designated server can keep an eye on your guests’ alcohol consumption and cut off people who have reached their limit.
- Finally, don’t be afraid to intervene if someone attempts to get behind the wheel while drunk. Call a cab on their behalf, take away their keys, or call the police for assistance. Don’t think it is any of your business if guests drink and drive? Think again. Some states have social host laws that make a host criminally or civilly responsible for damages and injuries caused by an over-served guest. And more importantly, while you may lose a guest for next year’s party, you could save a life.