Before You Celebrate – Plan Ahead

Before You Celebrate — Plan Ahead

Of course, we don’t intend to harm anyone when we get behind the wheel during the holiday season. Yet traffic fatalities persist and myths about drinking live on — even though scientific studies have documented how alcohol affects the brain and body.

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Because individuals are so different, it is difficult to give specific advice about drinking. But certain facts are clear — there’s no way to speed up the brain’s recovery from alcohol and no way to make good decisions when you are drinking too much, too fast.

So this holiday season,New Year’s Eve do not underestimate the effects of alcohol. Don’t believe you can beat them. Here are some tips to keep in mind if you choose to drink:

  • Pace yourself. Know what constitutes a standard drink and have no more than one per hour.
  • Have “drink spacers” — make every other drink a nonalcoholic one.
  • Make plans to get home safely. Remember that a designated driver is someone who hasn’t had any alcohol, not simply the person in your group who drank the least.

Sobering Up — Myths and Facts

Myth: You can drive as long as you are not slurring your words or acting erratically.

Fact: The coordination needed for driving is compromised long before the signs of intoxication are visible. Plus, the sedative effects of alcohol increase the risk of nodding off or losing attention behind the wheel.

Myth: Drink coffee. Caffeine will sober you up.

FactCaffeine may help with drowsiness, but not with the effects of alcohol on decision-making or coordination. The body needs time to metabolize (break down) alcohol and then to return to normal. There are no quick cures — only time will help.

Have a safe holiday season!

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