During the holidays, there are a lot of parties for family, neighborhoods, work, and more. At many of these functions, there is alcohol being served, which leads to some dangerous situations.
The day before Thanksgiving kicks off the season of drunk drivers. It is even called “Black Wednesday” because it is such a popular drinking holiday. Bars are often busy with college students just out from school for the break and as people get ready to spend the next day with family. From Black Wednesday to New Year’s Day, with spikes on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and New Year’s Eve, account for the days with the most extreme alcohol consumption. No matter what day you are out celebrating, here are some tips for driving responsibly with holiday drinking.
Make a plan.
If you know that you are going to be drinking at a party, have a ride arranged before you go. Family and friends can all switch off being the designated driver so that everyone gets to enjoy drinking at some point.
Another option is to arrange to have a friend pick you up and bring you home if they are in the area. If you don’t have someone to be your designated driver and still want to drink, be prepared to get a ride home by calling a ride share service or cab.
Know what you’re drinking.
A lot of parties have punch bowls full of pre-mixed drinks. Some are alcoholic, some are not. If you plan to drive yourself home, don’t make assumptions about what you’re drinking. Always ask the party host what is in the drink before you grab a glass and ask for something non-alcoholic if you’re driving.
Don’t drink too much.
If you know that you are going to a party to drink, remember to drink responsibly. Decide how much you are going to drink beforehand, sip your drink, and make sure you eat food with your beverage. A good rule of thumb is one drink per hour while eating food to help metabolize the alcohol best.
The purpose of holiday parties isn’t just to get drunk or a way to cope with family drama. Having too much alcohol can impair more than your ability to drive, but also your judgement. Drinking responsibly can help you stick to the safety plan you made before going to the party.
Take care of others.
While it isn’t required that you make sure no one drinks and then drives a car, it is great to have someone watching out. Offer to give a friend, coworker, or family member a ride home if you notice that they have been drinking.
If giving a ride is inappropriate or they refuse the offer, help arrange a different way for them to get home. As the old tagline says, “friends don’t let friends drive drunk” and you could save a life by keeping them from behind the wheel of a car.
Just because you choose to drive responsibly during the holidays doesn’t mean that you won’t have any fun. Take time to celebrate and enjoy the season but do it while being smart. Don’t ever drive if you have been drinking and do what you can to encourage others to be responsible too.