Staying safe and sober on New Year's Eve

BALTIMORE - New Year's Eve is right around the corner. For many people, it's a night of celebrating that usually involves drinking alcohol.

Unfortunately, New Years Eve celebrations that involve excessive drinking can lead to accidents and sometimes violence.

Whether you are hosting or going out to a party, Baltimore Drug Expert Mike Gimbel says the following safe party tips can help your night end as just as great as it started.

If you are hosting:

  • Avoid making alcohol the main focus of the party
  • Offer plenty of non-alcoholic beverages
  • Serve nutritious and appealing foods all night
  • Stop serving alcohol at least one hour before end of party
  • Don't allow alcohol to be given to underage youth
  • Provide designated drivers, call a cab or let a drunk guest spend the night.   Don't let a drunk guest leave on their own or drive a vehicle
  • Remember that coffee or energy drinks do not sober up a drunk, only time does

If you are going out:

  • Plan ahead, if you are going to drink don't drive and have an alternative to get home or spend the night.
  • Make sure you eat solid, healthy food before you begin to drink
  • Don't mix drinks with carbonated drinks, it allows alcohol to get into your system faster.
  • Don't mix drinks with energy drinks, the stimulant in the drinks will make you feel more sober than you are, leading to more drinking.
  • Don't sober up with coffee or energy drinks, it only gives you a wide awake drunk.  Only time sobers up a person
  • Don't leave a drink unattended.
Gimbel also reminds Marylanders taking prescribed medications to avoid mixing with alcohol.  He explains it only takes a small amount of alcohol in interact negatively with medication.
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