Friday, March 16, 2012

This St. Patrick's Day, Don't Let Driving Drunk Cost You a Pot O' Gold:

How to stay safe during St. Patrick's Day weekend:

Here are some wonderful tips courtesy of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:

If you are attending a party:
  • Make sure you get a designated driver before the party starts.  If you don't have a designated driver, at least have alternatives to your transportation.  For instance, have a taxi number stored in your phone and cab fare, call a friend or family member and have them pick you up, or worst come to worst find a safe place within walking distance to sleep it off until morning.
  • Avoid drinking too much too fast.  Make sure you space out your drinks in the evening.  Eat something, take breaks, and/or alternate with non-alcoholic beverages.
  • Use a sober ride program.  If you are a college student, an excellent resource over the weekend is Safe Rides for Students through CMU.  Their operating hours are from 8pm to 2am Fridays and Saturdays, and their phone number is 970-257-9797.
  • Watch out for your friends.  If you think they might have had too much to drink, let them know and keep them from driving themselves home.
  • Buckle up - even if you aren't intoxicated you will be sharing the road with other St. Patrick's Day party-goers, and they may not be fit to drive.
If you are hosting a party:
  • Keep in mind that you may be held responsible in a court of law if you are hosting a party and someone you served alcohol to ends up in a car accident.
  • Make sure your guests have arranged alternate transportation before the party begins, or help them to set up alternate transportation.  For example, have a couple of taxi numbers on hand, or get a friend who isn't planning on drinking help drive your guests home.  You can notify your guests at the start of your party, and pass around a tip-jar to help fill up your friends' gas tank!
  • Serve food along with alcohol, and make sure there are plenty of non-alcoholic drink options available.
  • Stop serving alcohol near the end of the party and instead start serving coffee, dessert, or another tasty non-alcoholic beverage.
  • Check guests' car keys at the door during the beginning of your party, and as they are leaving you can help determine as to whether or not they are fit to drive.  If they look like they've had too much to drink, don't be afraid to keep their keys and help them find an alternate ride home!

The Ad Council via Flickr

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

The CMU Student Resource Guide

Photo courtesy of:  stock.xchng

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