How to prevent friends from driving drunk
The next time you host a party, follow these tips to reduce the chances one of your guests will overindulge and become a danger on the roads. (Pre
vention is always easier than
vention, but we’ve also included ideas to help you separate an
from his or her keys.)
Guest list Invite a compatible group – stress can lead to excessive drinking. Consider hosting a smaller party. It’s easier to monitor and personally serve drinks.
Greeting As groups arrive, cheerfully ask, “Who’s driving tonight?” It subtly sets expectations.
Bar Don’t allow guests to help themselves. Offer a first drink, then after a time, offer a second. Or, choose a bartender who mixes modestly and isn’t afraid to cut people off. Offer plenty of non-alcoholic choices. Close the bar 90 minutes before the party ends. Only time sobers.
Food Include substantial, protein-rich choices. Serve courses throughout the event. Avoid salty fare that encourages people to drink.
Mingle and monitor If you notice someone who’s overly “thirsty,” engage the guest in conversation to slow the drinking.
Respectful intervention If a friend still drinks too much, quietly pull the person aside and suggest another partygoer as a driver or offer to call a cab. Keep it light, calm, and non-confrontational. If you don’t know the person well, enlist the help of his or her friends. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration suggests you consider discretely locating and “misplacing” the car keys.
Stronger intervention If the soft approach gets nowhere, tell friends who drink too much you’re worried they could get stopped and lose their license (an argument alcohol experts say is more effective than appeals about safety).
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