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Protect Yourself This New Year’s Eve

December 29, 2011
Protect Yourself This New Year's Eve

The promise of new year brings hope of new opportunities, new experiences and new resolutions – and a great reason to celebrate! Despite wishes of growth, greatness and improvement, New Year’s celebrations are notoriously dangerous. Drunk driving and excessive partying are two big issues on New Year’s Eve and can ruin the night for everyone.

Make sure you have a safe and fun New Years Eve by keeping a few things in mind this year!

Don’t Drink Too Much

It can be easy to overdo it on New Year’s. There’s pressure to have a lot of fun, there’s always someone ready to buy a round, and always a champagne toast at midnight (which definitely counts as another drink, being a tradition doesn’t change that a glass flute of champagne is the same amount as a beer or a shot!). It can be tempting to overindulge before your New Year’s resolutions kick in, especially when everyone around you is doing just that.

Make sure to count your drinks to keep track of how much (and how quickly) you’re drinking throughout the night. Pace yourself – drinking too many drinks in a short time can lead to problems later in the night. It is best to alternate drinks with a non-alcoholic beverage – it will help you stay hydrated, pace yourself and allow you to enjoy your buzz for longer without getting you too drunk. So grab a Coke from the selection of mixers between drinks or ask the bartender to give you a soda water with lemon next round. And don’t forget to eat! Make sure you take the time out of preparations to have a full dinner, and be sure to snack throughout the night (you’ll be up much later than usual, so don’t forget to give yourself the fuel you need!).

Being careful and mindful of how much you are drinking will keep you having fun and feeling good, it’ll also preserve your memories of the big night and prevent the dreaded hangover. You don’t want to spend the first day of the new year in bed with regrets! Plan ahead how much you want to drink and stick to it! Staying hydrated and nourished will also help.

Don’t Drive Drunk

This may seem like common sense, but, when in the moment, too often people make this mistake. As many as 11,000 people are killed each year in drunk driving accidents, and 1.5 million people are arrested for driving under the influence each year, according to MADD. Plan ahead to make sure you or your friends aren’t getting behind the wheel while under the influence. There are plenty of ways to avoid drunk driving. Pack an overnight bag just in case you end up needing to crash at the house party you’re attending – any good host will be happy to ensure no one leaves the party with keys in hand when they’re too drunk to drive. Book a room at a nearby hotel and make a whole night of your New Year’s plans, while treating yourself to a safe good night’s sleep. Go in on a room with a couple friends and use a site like Priceline or Hotwire to lower the cost. Take a cab – the fare costs far less than the costs of drunk driving. Uber is a great app for getting a ride home – avoid the hassle of hailing a cab and have their car service pick you up, you won’t have to worry about fumbling for cash and calculating a tip after a few drinks either. If you must get home – call AAA at 800-222-4357 (AAA-HELP). The Tispy Tow will pick you and your car up and bring you home.

With all these options, there’s no need to drive drunk!

Stay Away From Fights

If you find yourself being pulled into a bar fight, do everything you can to get away and stay out of it. Whether it is your friend or someone you just met, do not get involved. Not only may you get hurt, but you could end up in jail. Make sure to get the attention of bar staff or call the authorities if you see a fight break out.

Create a Safe Party

If you are hosting a party on New Year’s Eve, there are a few things to take into consideration when planning your fete. First, do your best to make sure none of your guests are driving home drunk. Have everyone check their keys at the door in a bowl just for that purpose, and try to keep an eye on guests so no one leaves if he or she is not fit to drive. Drunk driving is not only dangerous for your guests and other people on the road, but there may be legal consequences for you as well. Keep the number of your guests within reason – too many people and strangers in your home can get out of control. Make sure to party-proof your home before the guests arrive – remove valuables and breakables from common areas, stock up on paper towels and Clorox wipes, and hide your valuables. If you’re worried, renter’s insurance covers many of the potential problems you could encounter. Be neighborly by informing your neighbors of the party and respect their wishes.

New Years Eve is no doubt a big night. It’s a great time to spend with friends and family and an excuse to stay up until midnight waiting for the new year to arrive. Keep a level head during the party planning stage and throughout the night, and you will surely have a successful New Years Eve!

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