The holiday season is a great time to get together with family and friends. For most, this usually involves parties, good food, and some alcohol consumption. While you want your guests to have a good time, it’s also important to make sure they are being safe and responsible. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 728 people will be injured or killed each day in drunk driving accidents between during the holiday season — two to three times higher than the rest of the year.
If you’re hosting a party, be sure you don’t overlook these important tips to prevent drinking and driving and other safety precautions:
Have a designated driver. It's one of the simplest rules to follow, but also one of the most effective in keeping people safe on the roads.
Keep cab numbers on hand. If someone should not be driving and they insist on going home, call a cab for them instead of allowing them to take the risk of driving home.
Offer a variety of non-alcoholic drinks. Provide fun “mocktails” and other non-alcoholic drinks for designated drivers or those who don’t wish to consume alcohol.
Provide plenty of food. Drinking on an empty stomach can cause a person to become intoxicated faster. Offering food can help guests drink in moderation and slow down the effects of alcohol.
Plan some interactive activities. Busy guests drink less, so keep your guests busy with games that focus on fun conversation and good times for all.
Stop serving alcohol altogether about 90 minutes before the party ends. Bars have last calls for a reason - only time sobers an individual who has been drinking. Offer coffee, tea, and a snack to let guests wind down before heading home.
Health risks associated with parties and events aren't new, but they're driven in large part by the new strains of the COVID-19 virus popping up everywhere. While mostly mild in nature, the risk of a breakthrough case is higher than ever, as CDC officials have previously indicated that the case counts in spring were largely underreported. Plus, other variants could pose a greater threat during the cold winter season.
Holiday guidance issued by CDC officials stresses the need for vaccines and mask-wearing, especially for those who are unable to receive a shot due to their medical history — namely, young children and elderly individuals. Holiday events are still considered risky because they're multi-generational in nature and adding unvaccinated guests into the mix can complicate the issue, experts say.
Per new guidance, those who are best suited to wear a well-fitted mask at indoor holiday events include:
Younger children who may not be able to receive full vaccinations in time for the holiday season, despite recent federal clearance.
Elderly guests who may be considered immunocompromised but unable to complete vaccination and those who face pre-existing conditions that put them at high risk for severe sickness.
Those living in a town or city where local COVID-19 transmission is trending high, as asymptomatic spread (or those who are sick without any symptoms) is still a concern.
Ultimately, the systems you put in place to counteract the spread of COVID-19 are your decision to make. Regardless of anyone’s vaccination status or mask-wearing preference, if you have symptoms of Covid or were recently exposed to someone who has it, you should skip the holiday party and get tested. It’s just not worth the risk.
If you're involved in any sort of accident this holiday season, it is imperative you speak with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible after the incident. Keep that in mind as you navigate through any of the risks, and be prepared to contact one of our experienced personal injury attorneys today.