The holiday season, especially New Year’s, is one of the most dangerous times a year for DUI crashes, and the American Medical Response ambulance service urges party hosts to make sure guests don’t get behind the wheel after drinking.
“Party hosts, bartenders, and servers have a legal and moral responsibility to help keep drunk drivers off the road,” AMR spokesman Jim Pollard said. “If a guest has a DUI crash, the host may face an expensive lawsuit, not to mention the lifelong emotional pain resulting from the crash. By keeping drunk drivers off the road, you’ll possibly save a guest’s life and the lives of others.”
Pollard offers the following tips to party hosts:
- Never invite guests by noting there will be lots of alcohol available.
- Limit your own alcohol intake, so you can clearly determine whether guests are fit to drive or not.
- As soon as a group arrives, ask who is the designated driver. Offer designated drivers a reward such as first pass at the buffet table. Remember, a designated driver is not the person in the group who has drank the least amount of alcohol but the person who drinks NO alcohol at all.
- If a guest who is known to drink alcohol comes alone, determine at the start of the party who will take him or her home.
- Do not pressure guests to drink.
- Provide a bartender, so guests don’t over-serve themselves.
- Limit servings of alcohol by keeping glasses filled with ice.
- Non-alcoholic beverages should be displayed in the same place as the alcohol and featured just as prominently.
- Serve lots of food and “mocktails.”
- Serve all beverages in the same size and shape glass. That way, those who aren’t drinking alcohol won’t feel or look different.
- Do not allow drinking contests or drinking games.
- Never serve alcohol to anyone under the age of 21.
- Stop serving alcohol at least an hour before the party is set to end and begin serving dessert and coffee.
- As guests leave, help the designated driver buckle up every passenger.