Holiday Parties: Keeping Them Safe

Make sure this year’s holiday celebrations are memorable for all the right reasons. If alcohol is going to be served at your party or family gathering, take care of your family, friends, co-workers, and yourself by following these simple guidelines for your holiday gatherings.

Do not let someone who is impaired drive. Arrange for the person to sleep over or get a ride home with a friend, a ride service or a taxi. You may meet with resistance from the partygoer who says he or she is “fine” but taking away the car keys can save a life. Better to be safe than sorry.

Provide your guests with an attractive selection of non-alcoholic beverages and do not make drinking the focal point of the party or gathering. Remember that about one-third of all adults in the U.S. choose not to drink for a variety of reasons. People can and do have a great time without drinking.

Arrange for guests to meet and mingle through music, games or other entertainment. People who feel isolated or left out at a party may deal with their loneliness by drinking.

Provide your guests with nutritious food throughout the party. Eating will slow the progression of alcohol into the bloodstream.

Appoint a bartender for larger gatherings. This person can serve measured, standard drinks rather than doubles or “holiday specials” which can quickly lead to intoxication and trouble for the guest and the host/hostess.

Keep an eye on those under 21. When the party gets going, it is easy to lose track of what young people in the home are doing. Make sure that those under 21 know that you do not want them drinking and have a plan for making sure that alcohol is not accessible.

Stop serving alcohol at least one hour before the end of the party. Offer your guests a non-alcoholic drink, coffee, or desserts and remember that nothing sobers a person up except the passage of time.

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