wine glasses in a small group
Photo by Kelsey Chance

New Year’s Eve brings millions of revelers to public celebrations and private parties all over the country. Many statistics and studies show the year’s highest number of alcohol-related traffic fatalities occurs on New Year’s Eve. It is also a dangerous time for pedestrians, too. Although the worst injuries are typically associated with drunken driving, emergency departments also see injuries from falling while intoxicated, resulting in broken bones or head injuries. Alcohol also lowers people’s inhibitions, leading to sexual misconduct and outright assaults.  Here are a few tips on how to survive New Year’s Eve:

  1. Have a designated driver or just don’t drink and drive. Ask someone for a ride, or use Uber.
  2. Try to avoid being on the road between the hours of 8pm – 2am. Auto accidents due to alcohol consumption are the highest during that time.
  3. Monitor your alcohol intake. If you are drinking, make sure to stay hydrated with water and that you have enough to eat.
  4. Take the keys if you have a friend who is too drunk to get behind the wheel.
  5. Watch out for intoxicated pedestrians or bicyclists.
  6. Be careful with what you’re sharing on social media on NYE.
  7. If you’re hosting a party, keep an eye on your friends. Don’t let them leave your residence intoxicated. Ask guests to turn in their keys and put them in a secure place.
  8. Make sure your guests have a designated driver or a way to take them home from your party.
  9. If you’re drinking, leave your keys with someone so you won’t be tempted to drive.
  10. Be aware of anyone who brings dangerous fireworks at your home or at a party that you are attending. A homeowner can be held criminally and civilly liable for any damage done by safe or unsafe fireworks.
  11. Keep your pets inside or away from fireworks and other loud noises. Check your fence, gate latches and pet area before New Year’s Eve to ensure your pets can’t get out.
  12. Know how much is too much. Typically, too much alcohol for men equals more than three drinks within the first hour, then more than one subsequent drink per hour. For women, too much is typically equal to two or three drinks within the first hour, followed by more than one drink per hour thereafter. One drink equals 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled liquor. Of course, for many people, far less than these quantities might be “too much.”
  13. Home remedies such as coffee or cold showers aren’t “cures” for intoxication. Time is the only thing that will sober up a person who has been drinking.
  14. Seek medical treatment for individuals who are unconscious, or exhibit slowed or irregular breathing, seizures, pale or blue-tinged skin or cold skin temperature.

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