If you need to go from 1 place to another, assign a designated driver, call a cab or a designated driving service, or take public transportation.
Simply, if you're drinking, don't drive. It's never more complicated than that.
Drink responsibly and stay safe
- Never drink on an empty stomach. Have something to eat before you start drinking. While eating won't necessarily prevent you from getting drunk, the food spreads the alcohol absorption over a longer period of time.
- Pay attention to the strength of your drinks.
- Don't be offended if someone suggests that you've had too much to drive safely. They are probably right. They're only looking out for you. Friends don't let friends drive after drinking too much.
- If you aren't sure whether you're impaired, you probably are. Alcohol impairs even that basic judgment. Better to err on the side of caution than to take a chance and regret it later.
The affects of drugs on driving
Safe driving requires precise skills, clear judgment, concentration, and being able to react to what happens on the road.
Drugs affect all of these skills, and not just illegal drugs. Prescription drugs and even over the counter medicines can affect your driving skills if you don't follow instructions or your doctor's advice.
Taking more than one drug or mixing alcohol and drugs and then driving is even more dangerous. But taking drugs of any kind and then driving puts you at greater risk of injuring or killing yourself, your friends or other innocent people.
Don't be a passive passenger
- Talk about the plan for the evening and ensure it includes a clear decision about who is driving home. If there are problems, pick an appropriate time to express your concerns calmly and rationally. Be ready to suggest alternatives.
- Refuse to ride with a driver who has had too much to drink. Call a friend or relative. Or use that cash you put away for a cab.
- Monitor your companion's drinking. Watch for signs of intoxication. Suggest non-alcoholic alternatives and food. If you haven't had more than a drink or 2, offer to drive home and switch to non-alcoholic drinks.
- If your companion suggests that you drive home because you have had less to drink, and you don't feel safe doing so, say so and suggest an alternative.
Serving alcoholic beverages
- Don't push drinks on your guests. If they say 'no thanks,' offer them a non-alcoholic beverage. Always have a variety of non-alcoholic alternatives available.
- Avoid an open bar. Not only do people tend to drink more than usual, but you have no control over how much they drink.
- Have food available throughout the evening. Remember, though, that salty snack foods can cause people to drink more.
- Don't drink too much yourself. You need to be alert to changes in the behaviour of your guests. If someone is getting a little too noisy or rowdy, you may have to refuse to serve them any more drinks. You also have to be able to determine if any of your guests have had too much to drive home safely and take action to prevent them from doing so. You can't do this properly if you are intoxicated.
- Discontinue serving drinks a few hours before the party's over. Ensure that food and non-alcoholic beverages are available and encourage your guests to stay for refreshments before they go home.
- Have cash on hand for cab fares. Also, be prepared to have overnight guests.
- When inviting guests, remind them that alcohol will be served and they should plan ahead to take a cab or a bus, use a designated driver, call a designated driving service or stay overnight.