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A Safe Night's Drinking: Tips and Strategies

By: Leigh Sexton - Updated: 18 Aug 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Night Out Safe Drinking First Date Party

We all love going out, and having a fantastic night out with our friends and loved ones can be the greatest time of our lives, and an evening that we’ll remember for decades to come, but the way to ensure our memories are totally happy, is to do a bit of work in advance to be sure that everybody stay’s safe and happy and doesn’t have anything to regret the next morning.

Consequences Of Unsafe Drinking

The consequences of not planning a safe night’s drinking can be serious: on American college campuses it’s been discovered that men who drink five drinks or more in a row are more likely to be involved in assaults or accidents, while drinking four drinks in a row if you’re a woman can increase your risk of unplanned and unsafe sex by up to a third.

In both Britain and the USA, the number of women drivers involved in alcohol-related road accidents is increasing, even as the rate of male drivers involved in such incidents is decreasing. It’s not yet clear why this is happening: it could be because more women are driving rather than being passengers, because women drive smaller cars or because women’s driving behaviour changes when they have consumed alcohol.

Planning a safe night out:

Friends

Make sure you plan your evening with friends and ensure that you spend the whole evening together: don’t wander off without saying where you’re going, and don’t allow any of your friends to drift away from the group. If you do leave the group for some reason, arrange to text a friend every hour, and make sure you do it (you can set an alert on your phone if you think you might forget). Before you head off for the evening, particularly if you are going on a pub crawl, arrange a meeting point that’s safe and well lit in case you do get separated.

Strangers

If you bump into a stranger or spill their drink, be polite. Apologise and move on. If they become upset, you’ll be out of the vicinity and they are likely to calm down more quickly. If it’s a friend of yours who becomes upset or aggressive, calm them down, take them to a different place or a different part of the same place, and get them a soft drink so that they are buffering the effects of alcohol in their system. It goes without saying that you need to keep your own temper under control, doesn’t it? But if you do start to lose it, try this tip: carry some chewing gum and chew some if you feel upset, then make yourself blow three bubbles before reacting to provocation – the sheer silliness of it can change your mood completely and the taste of mint helps clear your head.

Transport

Wherever possible, book a taxi before leaving home so that you know you’re going to be picked up at a set time from a safe, well-lit place, by a regulated taxi driver. If that’s not possible, use a taxi rank and always sit in the back, preferably behind the driver. If travelling by bus or train, and you’re alone or in a small group, sit close to the driver and avoid empty carriages or upper decks. Immediately tell the driver or a guard if somebody bothers you. Always carry enough money for the fare home, a good tip is to put it in a small envelope and seal it, so that you aren’t tempted to spend the money on anything else. If you have to travel home alone, arrange to text a friend to say you’re home safely.

Pace yourself

Always eat a good meal before you go out, and drink water or soft drinks through the evening as they will help you cope better with the alcohol and also hydrate you so that you look better the next day.

Romance

Remember the beer goggle effect, and that somebody who looks great on the night may not look so good the next day. If they are worth it, they’ll agree to a second date and not push too hard on a first meeting. Just in case though, carry a condom and be ready to use it.

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