The holiday season in Massachusetts is festive, and people tend to drink more than normal during this time. Unfortunately, getting behind the wheel after a night of partying is never smart and DUIs tend to increase during the holidays. Both partiers and hosts need to take responsibility and make sure no one gets behind the wheel after drinking.

According to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, many more people drink during the holidays than other times of the year and this can lead to multiple issues. Obviously car accidents and DUIs increase, but there are also more fights, falls and injuries. People who are typically not big drinkers can be especially at risk because they do not understand the effects alcohol can have and they may not be able to make smart decisions once under the influence. Some good advice everyone should follow over the holiday season includes:

  • Plan ahead and prepare to pace your drinking
  • Drink water or another non-alcoholic beverage in between each cocktail
  • Designate a non-drinking driver or take public transportation

The Health Plan discusses host responsibility during the holidays (and any time of the year). If hosting a party, it is important to offer a wide range of non-alcoholic beverages and even offer a specialty mocktail. Alcohol should also not be the central focus of the party; rather, have games, music, dancing or other form of lively entertainment. Food can help slow the effects of alcohol, so there should be plenty of choices. Offer items that are high in carbohydrates and protein to help slow alcohol absorption. Designate someone to pour the drinks, preferably a professional bartender, so the amount of alcohol can be controlled. Most importantly, make sure no one drives if they have been drinking too much.