AMR issues tips to help keep New Year’s revelers safe
The American Medical Response is hoping to keep New Year’s Eve party goers safe by asking party hosts to help prevent D.U.I.
JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - The New Year’s holiday is one of the most dangerous periods for getting hurt or killed in a drunk driving crash. Paramedics at American Medical Response (AMR) ambulance service urge party hosts to make sure guests don’t get drunk and drive.
“Party hosts, bartenders and servers have a legal and moral responsibility to help keep drunk drivers off the road," said AMR spokesman Jim Pollard. “If a guest has a DUI crash, the host may face an expensive lawsuit. By keeping drunk drivers off the road you’ll possibly save a guest’s life and the lives of others.”
Pollard encouraged party hosts to:
- Never invite guests by noting you’ll have lots of alcohol available.
- Limit your own alcohol intake so you can determine whether guests are fit to drive and then take steps to stop impaired guests from driving.
- As soon as a group of guests arrive, ask who is serving as the designated driver. Remember who the designated drivers are and don’t offer them alcohol. The designated driver is not the one in a group who has drunk the least alcohol, but the one who drinks no alcohol at all. Give designated drivers a reward such as first pass at the buffet table. Ask non-drivers to hand their keys to their designated driver.
- If a guest comes alone and is known to drink alcohol, determine at the start of the party who will take him or her home.
- Do not pressure guests to drink. There’s a big difference between asking, “Would you like something to drink?” compared to insisting, “Come on, have another shot!”
- Provide a bartender so guests don’t over-serve themselves. Limit servings of alcohol by keeping glasses filled with ice. Don’t rush to refill guests’ glasses with alcohol.
- Non-alcoholic beverages should be displayed in the same place as the alcohol and featured just as prominently.
- Serve all beverages in the same size and shape glass. That way, those who aren’t drinking alcohol won’t feel or look different.
- Do not allow drinking contests. Ask your guests who are drinking to pace themselves, eat plenty of food and alternate alcohol with non-alcoholic drinks.
- Never serve alcohol to anyone under 21 years of age.
- If someone shows up drunk or gets drunk, tell the guest he or she has drunk too much and alcohol is off limits. Take the guest aside and offer a place to sleep it off. If another guest is a close friend of the intoxicated person, ask that other guest to help.
- Prevent falls by clearing walkways and stairs and providing adequate lighting. WUI (walking under the influence) can also lead to serious injury.
- Stop serving alcohol at least an hour before the party is set to end and begin serving coffee and dessert. But remember, coffee does not restore sobriety.
- Never let anyone drive who is remotely impaired by alcohol. Take the keys. Call a cab, a ride-hailing company, encourage the guest to stay overnight or have one of your designated drivers take the inebriated guest home. Don’t let drunk guests out of your sight.
- As guests leave, help the designated drivers buckle up every passenger. Buckling up is the best defense against impaired drivers in other vehicles.
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