During the holiday season and throughout the year, drinking responsibly is simple: if you drive, don’t drink; if you drink, don’t drive. Your safety, and the safety of others on the road, depends on your good judgment.
Designate a Driver
Someone dies in an alcohol-related traffic accident in the United States every 30 minutes, and more than a million drivers are arrested annually for driving under the influence. While accidents aren’t limited to the holiday season, extra parties and more people traveling on the roadways mean these incidences spike at this time of the year.
Of course, the safest choice when drinking is not to drive. If you plan to drink, always have a designated driver. This is someone who agrees not to drink and is responsible for driving you and other partygoers home.
How Much is Too Much?
If you choose to drink responsibly, how do you know if you’re overdoing it? Use the simple one-one rule: have one standard drink per hour. The American Dietetic
Association defines a standard drink as:
• One 12-ounce beer
• One 5-ounce glass of wine
• One mixed drink with 1.5 ounces of liquor
Remember, personal tolerances vary, so it’s up to you to know your safe limit and stick to it!
The Perfect Host
If hosting a party, you don’t need to serve alcohol to make your party merry. From sparkling punches to mulled cider, there are many festive, non-alcoholic beverages to offer your guests.
If serving alcohol, always measure the amount of alcohol mixed into drinks so guests can gauge how much they are consuming. Stop serving alcohol at least one hour before the party ends.
If someone overindulges, don’t let your guests drink and drive. Arrange for a ride with a safe driver, or make them stay until they sober up.
Alcohol and Drugs Don’t Mix
Prescription drugs or over-the-counter remedies, such as cold medications, combined with drinking may affect your driving. Follow the directions and warning labels of all medications carefully.
Contrary to popular belief, black coffee, a cold shower, or fresh air may make a person feel more awake, but will not overcome the effects of alcohol.