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Cheers! Keeping Holiday Drinking Fun and Safe

December 4th, 2014 | by admin admin | in Safety Advice |    2   comments

drinks.jpgDo you live among heavy drinkers? The Canadian Institute for Health Information has a cool online tool that shows at a glance how your city or region ranks on heavy drinking, physical activity, emergency wait times and other health indicators. For example, the heavy drinking numbers for 2012 were:

  • Canada – 17.4%
  • B.C. – 16.1%
  • Interior Health Authority – 20.8%
  • Vancouver Coastal Health Authority – 16.7%

Even at a relatively low 14.2% for the Fraser Health Authority, which includes Burnaby and Surrey, that’s a lot of heavy drinkers.

So, how do you navigate all the alcohol during the holidays? It’s so easy to accept another glass of wine or sample the brandied egg nog at a party. If you have a problem with drinking, it may help to set yourself a limit beforehand and ask a friend to help you stick to it. Keep in mind that anti-depressants, and cold and flu medications can intensify the effect of alcohol. If you only take a drink once in a while, your tolerance for alcohol may be lower than average. “Just one more” cocktail may hit you harder than you expect. To find out where you fall on the spectrum, take the Rethinking Drinking quiz.

And keep in mind, “buzzed driving” can be just as bad as drunk driving. A UC San Diego study found that participants with blood alcohol content of only 0.01 per cent were 46 per cent more likely to be found solely responsible for accidents than sober drivers.

While CounterAttack campaigns have helped reduce drinking and driving motor vehicle accidents in B.C., 63 people still died in impaired-driving crashes in 2013. If you’re hosting a Christmas party or other holiday event this year, you can help prevent accidents by following these tips:

  • Never pressure anyone to drink.
  • Offer a selection of non-alcoholic beverages as well as plenty of food. Mocktail ideas.
  • Stop the flow of alcohol at least one hour before the party ends.
  • Don't serve alcohol to an intoxicated guest.
  • Don't let anyone who is drunk drive home.

As a guest, you can arrange for a friend, family member or, outside the City of Vancouver, Operation Red Nose volunteer to be your designated driver. Taking a taxi or public transit are also options.

With a bit of creative planning, you can party and stay safe this holiday season.



Impaired Driving, ICBC

Avoid alcohol problems during the holidays, UC Davis


Note: This blog discusses general safety and security topics. It is not intended to provide comprehensive advice or guidance. In all matters of personal safety and security, we encourage readers to research topics in depth and consult a security professional about specific concerns.

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