The Dover Police Department will be increasing patrols targeting Driving Under the Influence Violations throughout the Holiday season. During the holiday season (Thanksgiving Eve through New Year’s Day), 2-3 time more people die in alcohol related crashes than any other time of the year. 40% of traffic fatalities during the holiday season involve a driver who is impaired by alcohol. Drunk driving crashes are most prevalent during the holidays, as more people are on the road after having attended a friend’s or an office party where liquor is served. As a result of a partnership with the Department of Highway Safety, the Dover Police Department will have an additional 33 officers working throughout the holiday season, directly targeting drivers that are under the influence. We recommend the following tips to ensure your holiday season and events keep everyone safe.
Basically this boils down to everything from planning the party menu to assessing how guests will get home safely once the party is over.
What Every Host Needs to Know
• Don’t rely on coffee to sober up your guests. Only time can make someone sober.
• Beer and wine are just as intoxicating as hard liquor. A 12-ounce can of beer, a five-ounce glass of wine, a 12-ounce wine cooler and an ounce and a half of liquor contain the same amount of alcohol.
• Don’t rely on someone’s physical appearance to determine if they’ve had too much to drink.
• Mixers won’t help dilute alcohol. Carbonated mixers like club soda or tonic water cause alcohol to be absorbed into a person’s system more quickly. Fruit juice and other sweet mixers mask the taste of alcohol and may cause people to drink more.
Planning Your Party
• As guests RSVP, confirm that at least one person in each group is prepared to be the non-drinking designated driver.
• Provide plenty of food to keep your guests from drinking on an empty stomach.
• Avoid too many salty snacks, which tend to make people thirsty and drink more.
• Offer non-alcoholic beverages or mock-tails for designated drivers and others who prefer not to drink alcohol. And as the evening progresses, decrease the amount of alcohol poured in drinks and replace with mixers.
• If preparing an alcoholic punch, use a non-carbonated base, like fruit juice. Alcohol is absorbed into the blood stream faster with a carbonated base.
• Be prepared by having the number of a taxi service on hand for those who need a ride. Also, be ready with some clean linens so you can turn your sofa into a hotel for guests who need to sleep it off.
During Your Party
• Never serve alcohol to someone under the legal drinking age, and never ask children to serve alcohol at parties.
• Don’t let guests mix their own drinks. Choosing a reliable “bartender” will help you keep track of the size and number of drinks that guests consume.
• If a guest appears to be drinking a bit much, offer to freshen his or her drink with a virgin version.
• Do not push drinks! Drinking at a party is not mandatory for having a good time.
• Have fun – but not too much fun. To be a good host, you should stay within your limits in order to make sure your guests stay within theirs.
• Close the bar 90 minutes before the party ends. Remember, only time sobers someone who has been drinking.
• If, despite your efforts, some of your guests have had too much to drink, drive them home, arrange for a ride with another guest who is sober, call a taxi, get a hotel, or invite them to stay over.