New Year’s Eve is once again upon us, a night to reflect back on the last 366 days and celebrate the coming year. As the clock runs down for 2015, many people will be drinking, dancing, and telling stories of days gone by while presenting goals for 2016. Whether celebrating at a house party with friends and family, or out at a city-sponsored event, taking a few precautions will ensure that everyone gets to and from their destinations safely.
- If you plan to drive on New Year’s Eve, don’t drink and drive.
- If you have a friend who does not drink, ask them to be the designated driver.
- If you are driving; be alert behind the wheel, be aware of your surroundings, and be prepared to drive in winter weather.
- Use seatbelts and prepare an emergency safety kit for your vehicle.
- Take public transportation if possible.
Celebrating with Alcohol?
- Pace yourself and pay attention to how much you are consuming. Drinking too much alcohol can make you sick and can lead to alcohol poisoning.
- Stay hydrated by alternating alcoholic drinks with water, juice, or soda.
- Alcohol typically enters the bloodstream quickly. However, the amount and type of food in your stomach can alter this pace: high-carbohydrate and high-fat foods can slow the absorption of alcohol into the bloodstream.
- If you’ve had too much to drink, call a taxi or have a sober friend or family member to pick you up.
Will you be in a Crowd?
- Be mindful of your surroundings and how others are acting, and give a wide berth to those who seem out of control.
- If someone appears intoxicated, keep them from driving and call them a cab to ensure they get home safely, and don’t let them leave with someone they do not know.
Hosting a Party?
- Contact a local cab company to provide rides for your guests and book them in advance.
- Provide non-alcoholic beverages for your guests.
Attending a Party?
- Plan ahead and designate a sober driver before the celebration begins.
- If you stay out late, consider staying overnight at a friend’s house or booking a local hotel within walking distance from the party.
Do you have Pets?
- Loud noises can scare pets. Give them extra attention so their pets won’t run away in a panic upon hearing the pop of a champagne bottle or exploding fireworks.
- Keep your pets inside, in a comfortable room, with comforting music playing to drown out loud, unusual noises.
- Make sure all fences and gates are secure so if pets leave the house, they are confined to the yard.
- Ask your veterinarian for tranquilizers if your animal has shown signs of extreme uneasiness around loud noises or crowds in the past.
- Make sure your pet has its ID or dog license, and if it has a microchip, make sure it is current. This will make it easier to get you pet back if he/she escapes your home and yard during festivities.
On New Year’s Eve, everyone wants to have an unforgettable night — in a good way. By following a few simple steps, having a good sense of awareness, and taking these safety tips to heart, we can all have a happy, healthy, and safe celebration. Have a happy, safe, and healthy 2016!
The above is an excerpt adapted from the article, “Tips on Staying Safe and Healthy on New Year’s Eve.” For more information, please visit blog.mass.gov.