Got your checklist?
Decorations… Christmas crackers … music … vegetarian option for your sister-in-law. You’ve thought of everything you need to make your Christmas party perfect.
Or not. How about a designated driver? If you haven’t yet thought about how your guests will be getting home, don’t wait until the party to sort it out – that might be too late.
Holidays are a particularly bad time for drunk driving. Collisions spike during this time of the year, not just because there are more opportunities to drink, but also because it’s a time when people who don’t normally go out drinking are called into the conference room where a punch bowl of mulled wine is waiting. Some of those people are not used to thinking about designated drivers.
If you’re having beer, wine, or spirits at your holiday party, it’s your responsibility to see that everyone has a way of getting home safely. This could mean:
- Walking or taking a taxi or public transport – the all-time best ways of preventing drunk driving
- A designated driver – someone who will not be drinking at all during the evening
- Having people stay over if they are too drunk to drive
- Offering food and non-alcoholic drinks
- Staying sober enough to keep an eye on your guests
- Prevent an impaired guest from getting into the driver’s seat
It’s a bit more to think about than you might have planned for, but it’s vital. Think what the holidays will be like, year after year, if they become not a joyous time but the anniversary of a road collision.
The good news is that most, if not all, of your guests will be on board with you, at least at the start of the evening. Public awareness of the dangers of drunk driving has never been higher. “Designated driver” is now a noble calling. And taxi and rideshare companies are aware of their vital role in keeping the roads safe, so don’t hesitate to call one if you need to. Even at holiday rates, it’s much cheaper than a DUI, and a much happier ending than might have occurred should your guest have taken the wheel while under the influence.
Don’t just wish for a safe and happy Christmas – plan for it!