Don’t drink and drive. And don’t allow anyone else to do so, either.
Whether you’re a host or a happy participant this New Year’s Eve, there are ways to ensure the comfort and safety of those you care about and are responsible for. Here are some things to think about before you open the door to your first guest—or are welcomed into the party.
- Hey, guess what? You don’t have to drink at every party! That’s right: society has changed—along with the laws. Unless you’re hanging out with the wrong crowd, no one will think you are somehow flawed if you sip a soft drink or nurse one glass of wine all evening.
- If you’re planning a get-together, make it easy on everyone by displaying the non-alcoholic beverages at least as prominently as the alcoholic ones. Put a tall pitcher of ice water garnished with crisp cucumber slices or thinly sliced lemons or limes, a few bottles of sparkling cider and some exotic bottled water and juices on the bar; pomegranate seeds, whole fresh cranberries or citrus slices make a snifter of non-alcoholic bubbly look mighty festive.
- Ask your guests what they would like to drink, rather than pointing them to the bottles of beer, wine and liquor lined up on the bar. Caring people don’t pressure anyone to drink alcoholic beverages. Responsible hosts don’t make alcohol the centerpiece of the gathering—especially when there are so many other great reasons for getting together with friends, family and coworkers.
- Make sure you have food to offset the drinking. If you’re the guest, make sure you eat!
- Hosts, your moral and legal obligation is this: Under no circumstances allow someone to drive who has been drinking through the evening. Your back-up plans could include having phone numbers of taxi services, hiring responsible college kids who can be counted on to take guests home safely, putting clean sheets on the guestroom beds or halting the serving of alcohol about an hour before your event is scheduled to end in favor of coffee, tea or soft drinks.
- Guests, your moral and legal obligation is this: never drive when you’ve been drinking, and don’t allow anyone else to do so. Designate a non-drinking driver – or be a holiday hero and offer to be one. Even if you won’t be driving, you should still determine how much you will drink and then stick to it.
Keep in mind what you are celebrating. Make sure you and those you care about most are around for the rest of this wonderful new year. Party responsibly.
And a successful and happy 2015 to all of you from all of us at Fred Beans Family of Dealerships!
NOTE: Information about AAA’s Tipsy Tow service, a free program offered to members and non-members who have over-indulged on New Year’s Eve, has been widely circulated via social media. The service IS NOT AVAILABLE nationwide. Please check availability at the U.S. AAA website or your local AAA.
Adapted from Driving Times #17, 2006