Safe Drinking – How To Practice Alcohol Safety
It feels good to relax and have a drink with family and friends, but with alcohol comes responsibility. It’s a substance many abuse, whether they’re fully aware of it or not. Read through some of our top tips for alcohol safety, so you can savor your drink and enjoy good company.
Always eat BEFORE you drink; eating afterwards is likely to have little to no effect. This ensures your body absorbs alcohol less quickly, so you can prevent blacking or passing out.
Think substantial snacks. If you’re hosting, create a cheese plate or have everyone cook an appetizer to share. If you’re not at home, make sure everyone in your group is well fed before visiting any bars.
Perfect the frequency
It sounds confusing—drinking every now and then offers a host of health benefits, while drinking too much can lead to serious health issues down the road, such as liver disease and high blood pressure. Drinking is certainly enjoyable, but it’s best enjoyed in moderation. Moderate, safe drinking is defined as having up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men.
This ensures you’re having a good time while reaping the health benefits. Moderate drinking has been shown to reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke.
When it comes to the time of day, try drinking with your meals. It’s also wise to avoid alcohol right before bedtime, as it’s likely to disrupt your sleep cycle.
If you find you’re drinking more often than you’d like, set aside some time to stay sober.
Watch the amount
Just because you don’t attend your office’s happy hour midweek doesn’t mean you can chug several beers on Saturday night. We advise, especially if you’re driving, to have no more than one alcoholic drink an hour. If you plan to drive, avoid alcohol and just stick to water or soft drinks.
Binge drinking is having four or more drinks over the course of two hours for women and five or more for men. It has many negative consequences, and it can lead to alcoholism in the future, so establish a limit beforehand and plan ahead.
Walking up to the bar is like spinning the wheel on a game show. Fruity, colorful beverages make it more difficult to detect the amount of content in them. Darker liquors may worsen your hangovers. Shots make it easier to drink more. Pick very carefully; most people will opt for beer and wine to slow their drinking down.
We also strongly recommend not mixing drinks throughout the night. For instance, if you started the night drinking Moscow mules, it’s best to follow up with another one after a couple hours have passed.
Watch your drink
After you order your drink, keep your eyes on the the bartender or whoever is pouring just to make sure there’s no foul play. Never accept a drink if you don’t know what’s in it.
If you need to head to the restroom or wish to hit the dancefloor, leave your drink with someone you trust—or, if you can, bring it with you.
You might get stuck in a situation where your friends become pushy. Be the bigger person and don’t succumb to peer pressure to drink faster. Pair your alcoholic beverage of choice with a glass of water.
If you notice you’ve reached your limit and someone offers to buy you a drink, ask for a non-alcoholic beverage instead. Slowing down is the one of the best decisions you can make to turn your night around.
Alcohol is a diuretic, so you’re certain to feel fatigued and dehydrated after more than a couple drinks. Don’t forget to drink water before you head to bed; your body will thank you in the morning.
Never operate a motor vehicle under the influence
Drunk driving is a high-risk behavior that’s just not worth it. You’ll lose your license and have to pay some hefty fees, and if you’re involved in a fatal accident while under the influence, you could face jail time.
If you’re under the influence, stay with a friend or call a ride-sharing service, whether it’s a regular taxi service, Lyft, or Uber. If your friend calls you and they’re under the influence, encourage them to stay where they are and wait for you. If you’re out with a group, designate a driver for the night. Some of your friends may not like to drink in public or may abstain from alcohol altogether, making them reliable designated drivers (should they be up for it, of course).
Stay with your crew
When you’re out drinking with a group, always put safety first. If you’re heading to a crowded bar or club, stick together so you can ensure nobody gets split up.
If you see something, say something, even if it’s outside of your immediate group. Try and get some help for people who are clearly uncomfortable in a certain situation, such as unwarranted attention or sexual harassment. Let a staff member know, so you can be sure someone completely alleviates any issues.
To prevent some of the sketchy situations that might arise out on the town, take turns hosting at home. Alcohol loosens inhibitions, so you never know what might happen; drunken situations can quickly progress from one thing to another.
Enjoy the experience
It’s always exciting to try something new, especially if you find a new favorite beer, wine, or cocktail as a result. Plus, alcohol pairs so well with a variety of foods—make it about the experience of the complementary flavors.
We strongly believe in drinking for the quality rather than the quantity. If you find that drinking alcohol simply isn’t for you, it never hurts to abstain.
We encourage you to stay healthy, responsible, and most importantly, safe. Unfortunately, not everyone takes alcohol safety to heart. If you’re the victim of a drunk driving accident and seek representation, contact Mayor Law. Travis Mayor, Portland’s trusted DUI lawyer, can give you the help you deserve.