During the holidays, there are many opportunities to enjoy the camaraderie of fine food, family, and friends and beverages.
A few sensible precautions can help assure that the festivities and celebrations are not impaired. Driving impaired is simply not worth the risk. Not only do you risk killing yourself or someone else, but the trauma and financial costs of a crash or an arrest for driving while impaired can be significant.
• Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin;
• Before drinking, designate a sober driver and leave your car keys at home;
• If you're impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation so you are sure to get home safely;
• If you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, don't hesitate to contact your local law enforcement;
• If you know someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.
• On average someone is killed by a drunk driver every 40 minutes.(NHSTA 2008)
• An estimated three of every 10 Americans will be involved in an alcohol-related traffic crash at some time in their lives. (NHTSA, 2001)
• Research shows that alcohol-related crashes cost the public an estimated $114.3 billion annually—this includes an estimated $63.2 billion lost in quality of life due to these crashes. (Taylor, Miller, and Cox, 2002)
The consumption of alcoholic beverages is routine at holiday celebrations across the country. Unfortunately, National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) data shows that about 1,200 lives are lost each year between Thanksgiving and New Year's due to drinking and driving. If you are hosting a holiday celebration, there are steps you can take to ensure your guests don't become a holiday statistic.
Eat, Then Drink and be Merry
Provide plenty of food to keep your guests from drinking on an empty stomach. Keep in mind that salty snacks tend to make people thirsty and encourage them to drink more. Be sure there are nonalcoholic options for non-drinkers and designated drivers. When serving drinks to your guests, here are some things to keep in mind.
* If preparing an alcoholic punch, use a non-carbonated base. Alcohol is absorbed faster with a carbonated base.
* Never serve someone under the legal drinking age or allow minors to serve guests.
* Don't let guests mix their own drinks. Designate a reliable "bartender" to keep track of who is drinking and how much.
* Do not encourage drinking. It's not essential to a good time.
* Be a good host by staying within your limits so you can be sure your guests stay within theirs.
* Close the bar 90 minutes before the party ends and serve a dessert with coffee.
* Remember that only time can sober someone who has been drinking.
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Erie Food Market, Lakeside, 419-798-4658
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Underwood's, Port Clinton, 419-734-9981
VFW #2480, Port Clinton, 419-734-9981