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Keeping Holiday Guests Safe
12/06/2004

With Christmas and New Year’s soon approaching, you can count on being invited to countless parties to celebrate this season. Unfortunately, during this time thousands will lose their lives or become injured in alcohol-related traffic crashes.

Last year during the Thanksgiving to New Year's holiday season, 2,464 people died in alcohol-related crashes according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). Every year, more than 17,000 people are killed in alcohol-related traffic crashes, totaling 41 percent of all traffic deaths. Half a million others are injured.

If you’re hosting a party this holiday season, do your part and help prevent drunk driving by serving alcohol responsibly and providing safe rides home to guests that have had too much to drink. The National Commission Against Drunk Driving (NCADD) also recommends the following tips for party hosts:

  • Encourage your guests to designate a driver ahead of time.
  • Have a key basket and collect each guest’s keys upon arrival. Know the condition of your guests before returning their keys at the end of the party. 
  • Plan activities so the focus isn’t just on drinking.
  • Serve a variety of food and include nonalcoholic beverages alongside alcoholic beverages.
  • If serving punch containing alcohol, mix with non-carbonated base like fruit juice; carbonated bases speed up the absorption of alcohol into the blood stream.
  • Designate one person to serve as the bartender. This will help control the number of drinks and the amount of alcohol in each drink.
  • Stop serving alcohol at least one hour (preferably 90 minutes) before the party is over. Bring out dessert, coffee and other non-alcoholic drinks.
  • Be prepared to arrange for a ride home for your guests if necessary, or invite them to spend the night.

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