7 Steps to Hosting a Safe New Year’s Eve Party

If you’re hosting a party this New Year’s eve, you have a lot of duties: menu planning, decorating, and securing entertainment. But don’t overlook your most crucial responsibility: keeping your guests safe
Alcohol is the common thread in New Year’s Eve partying. It’s also a factor in four in 10 deadly car crashes. Young people are especially at risk. Alcohol-related highway crashes are the leading cause of death for teens and the young – but no one is immune.

If you’re throwing a party, take heed:

Don’t make alcohol the main focus of social events. Entertain guests with music, dancing, games, food, and conversation.
Offer plenty of nonalcoholic beverage choices. In fact, one in three adults prefers nonalcoholic drinks. Serve up sparkling water, fancy juice drinks, soft drinks, and bottled water.
Have the bartender check IDs and pour correct serving sizes. Ask your bartender to watch the serving sizes of beverages, and don’t allow “doubles” of drinks. Also, request that your bartender keep an eye on guests’ drinking.
Provide guests with healthy and appealing foods. This helps slow the effects of alcohol. High-protein and high-carbohydrate foods – such as cheese and meat – are great. Avoid salty foods, which may prompt people to drink more.
Stop serving drinks at least an hour before the end of the event. Instead, serve coffee, nonalcoholic beverages, and desserts. But don’t rely on coffee to sober up guests. It still takes the same amount of time for the alcohol to leave one’s system.
Before the party, find the people who won’t be drinking. Recruit people who won’t be drinking to help make sure your guests get home safely.
Don’t let anyone drive if they have been drinking. Offer your guest a room or the couch for the night, call a cab, or ask someone else to drive your guest home. If the drinker insists on driving, take the keys or temporarily disable the car. If all else fails, say you will call the police (and follow through if you have to).
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