Fall is in the air and we are fast approaching the holiday season. The holiday season can be a cheerful time of the year filled with festivities, social gatherings, and parties which for some people may include having a few cocktails. As we look to enjoy our holiday season to the fullest, I urge you to keep some basic safety tips in mind if you do choose to consume alcoholic beverages. After all, no one wants a “Memorable Holiday Season” that’s memorable for the all the wrong reasons.
If you’re attending a gathering or event where you may have a few cocktails, determine a plan for getting home safely before going out. You rarely hear a person say they had something to drink and did something smart, which can also go for making a good plan. Once a person has had something to drink, their judgement is impaired making it more difficult to determine a safe plan to get home. It is also a great idea to have a backup since sometimes even the best made plans fall through. Nothing puts a damper on the holiday season like an arrest or accident because someone chose to drink and drive.
If you are hosting a gathering or event, have a list of local taxi and driver services to use for guests needing a safe way home. You may also consider arranging a sober driver to help shuttle guests to their residence after the gathering. An attentive host knows when to step in and help a guest who may have had too much to drink so that social faux pas are avoided and the guest is able to arrive home without incident. We want our gatherings to be remembered for things like good food and friends, not because someone got sick or acted foolishly.
Although taxis, driver services, or having a designated driver are great options for getting home safely and avoiding a DWI, they do not eliminate the other risks associated with alcohol if we choose not to drink responsibly. Having a ride home does not provide us license to consume alcohol in an irresponsible manner. This kind of behavior puts the things we value most in life at risk and can lead to holiday memories you might not want remembered. We like to think that something like an arrest, accident, or embarrassing moment couldn’t happen to us, but we risk all of this when we fail to drink responsibly.
And last but not least, enjoy yourself over the holiday season as you spend time celebrating and reconnecting with friends and family. When people do so responsibly, alcohol consumption can be part of a fun and safe holiday gathering.
For more information on resources and support for alcohol abuse contact the Alcohol Abuse Prevention Specialist at (252) 466-8413.