Holiday Drinking: Keep It Safe

Reviewed Mar 7, 2016

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Summary

  • Resist the pressure to drink or serve alcohol at every social event.
  • Decide that drinking and driving is not an option. 

The period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, is one of the most unsafe times of year to be on the roads due to alcohol-related injuries and deaths.

Why are the holidays more dangerous than other times of the year?

  • More people drink during the holidays due to many parties and other festivities.
  • Many Americans don’t drink except around the holidays and therefore have a lower tolerance for alcohol. As a result, these people often underestimate their level of impairment and sometimes even drive when they shouldn’t. When arrested for drunk driving, these people often show a relatively low blood alcohol content although they are very intoxicated.
  • Because there are more parties and socially acceptable events to drink during the holidays, many problem drinkers and people with alcoholism say that they feel more “normal,” and therefore drink more often. Because they have a high tolerance for alcohol they drink large amounts before showing the effects, although they are, in fact, too impaired to drive.
  • The holidays are busy and stressful. People are hurrying more than normal and winter road conditions in many areas of the country make driving more dangerous. Add alcohol to this scenario and you have a recipe for disaster.

Avoiding an alcohol-related disaster
 
Follow these tips for a safe holiday season:

  • Resist the pressure to drink or serve alcohol at every social event. Just because it’s there does not require that you drink it. There is no law stating that alcohol is a necessary ingredient for holiday cheer!
  • If you want to serve alcohol to your guests, offer nonalcoholic drinks as well. Make your guests feel as comfortable choosing a nonalcoholic drink as they would choosing alcohol. You can do this by putting nonalcoholic drinks in a prominent, easily accessible place and by asking guests what they would like to drink, instead of pointing them to the bar or handing them an alcoholic drink when they arrive.
  • If you or your friends are going to a party and plan to use alcohol, decide in advance who will be the designated driver. Decide that drinking and driving is not an option.
  • If you are going to drink, decide ahead of time how many drinks you will have and stick to it.
By Drew Edwards, EdD, MS
Source: Mothers Against Drunk Driving

Summary

  • Resist the pressure to drink or serve alcohol at every social event.
  • Decide that drinking and driving is not an option. 

The period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, is one of the most unsafe times of year to be on the roads due to alcohol-related injuries and deaths.

Why are the holidays more dangerous than other times of the year?

  • More people drink during the holidays due to many parties and other festivities.
  • Many Americans don’t drink except around the holidays and therefore have a lower tolerance for alcohol. As a result, these people often underestimate their level of impairment and sometimes even drive when they shouldn’t. When arrested for drunk driving, these people often show a relatively low blood alcohol content although they are very intoxicated.
  • Because there are more parties and socially acceptable events to drink during the holidays, many problem drinkers and people with alcoholism say that they feel more “normal,” and therefore drink more often. Because they have a high tolerance for alcohol they drink large amounts before showing the effects, although they are, in fact, too impaired to drive.
  • The holidays are busy and stressful. People are hurrying more than normal and winter road conditions in many areas of the country make driving more dangerous. Add alcohol to this scenario and you have a recipe for disaster.

Avoiding an alcohol-related disaster
 
Follow these tips for a safe holiday season:

  • Resist the pressure to drink or serve alcohol at every social event. Just because it’s there does not require that you drink it. There is no law stating that alcohol is a necessary ingredient for holiday cheer!
  • If you want to serve alcohol to your guests, offer nonalcoholic drinks as well. Make your guests feel as comfortable choosing a nonalcoholic drink as they would choosing alcohol. You can do this by putting nonalcoholic drinks in a prominent, easily accessible place and by asking guests what they would like to drink, instead of pointing them to the bar or handing them an alcoholic drink when they arrive.
  • If you or your friends are going to a party and plan to use alcohol, decide in advance who will be the designated driver. Decide that drinking and driving is not an option.
  • If you are going to drink, decide ahead of time how many drinks you will have and stick to it.
By Drew Edwards, EdD, MS
Source: Mothers Against Drunk Driving

Summary

  • Resist the pressure to drink or serve alcohol at every social event.
  • Decide that drinking and driving is not an option. 

The period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, is one of the most unsafe times of year to be on the roads due to alcohol-related injuries and deaths.

Why are the holidays more dangerous than other times of the year?

  • More people drink during the holidays due to many parties and other festivities.
  • Many Americans don’t drink except around the holidays and therefore have a lower tolerance for alcohol. As a result, these people often underestimate their level of impairment and sometimes even drive when they shouldn’t. When arrested for drunk driving, these people often show a relatively low blood alcohol content although they are very intoxicated.
  • Because there are more parties and socially acceptable events to drink during the holidays, many problem drinkers and people with alcoholism say that they feel more “normal,” and therefore drink more often. Because they have a high tolerance for alcohol they drink large amounts before showing the effects, although they are, in fact, too impaired to drive.
  • The holidays are busy and stressful. People are hurrying more than normal and winter road conditions in many areas of the country make driving more dangerous. Add alcohol to this scenario and you have a recipe for disaster.

Avoiding an alcohol-related disaster
 
Follow these tips for a safe holiday season:

  • Resist the pressure to drink or serve alcohol at every social event. Just because it’s there does not require that you drink it. There is no law stating that alcohol is a necessary ingredient for holiday cheer!
  • If you want to serve alcohol to your guests, offer nonalcoholic drinks as well. Make your guests feel as comfortable choosing a nonalcoholic drink as they would choosing alcohol. You can do this by putting nonalcoholic drinks in a prominent, easily accessible place and by asking guests what they would like to drink, instead of pointing them to the bar or handing them an alcoholic drink when they arrive.
  • If you or your friends are going to a party and plan to use alcohol, decide in advance who will be the designated driver. Decide that drinking and driving is not an option.
  • If you are going to drink, decide ahead of time how many drinks you will have and stick to it.
By Drew Edwards, EdD, MS
Source: Mothers Against Drunk Driving

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