Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Cheers to Ringing in the New Year Safely

Before you gather with family and friends to ring in the New Year, make sure you’ve made plans to keep yourself and your loved ones safe.

Going out to celebrate?

  1. Make a plan to get home safely. If you plan on drinking, designate a non-drinking driver ahead of time and leave your keys at home, or program the phone number of a friend or local taxi service to your phone.
  2. Pace yourself. Pay attention to how much alcohol you are consuming
  3. Stay hydrated. Alternate alcoholic drinks with water.
  4. If someone you know is drinking, do not let that person get behind the wheel. They’ll thank you for it.
  5. Never get in a car with someone who has been drinking. There’s always another way to get home safely! It’s not worth the risk.
  6. If you see someone driving drunk, call the police. Getting drunk drivers off the roads prevents tragedies and saves lives.

Hosting a party?

  1. Make sure to keep all alcohol, festive foods, chocolates, floral arrangements and party decorations away from your pets.  Anytime there is alcohol, food, and people celebrating, it can be a hazard for your furry family members.
  2. Be a responsible and sober host. Limiting your own alcohol intake will allow you to better determine if a guest is sober enough to drive at the end of the night.
  3. Food is the key.  Have plenty of food on hand, and make sure platters of hors d'oeuvres are kept fresh. Foods with protein, such as meats and cheese, help buffer the effects of alcohol.
  4. Provide non-alcoholic beverages and plenty of water. Offer water, coffee, or other non-alcoholic spacers between drinks.
  5. Know and watch for the 50 likely signs of visible intoxication, combinations of the signs, and changes in behavior.
  6. Count the number of drinks, not glasses, each guest has.
  7. Wait until a guest finishes a drink before offering another.
  8. Serve one drink per person at a time.
  9. Do not push drinks.
  10. Have designated drivers. Plan to have sober drivers at your party who can escort folks home. Volunteer to be a sober driver at someone else’s party.
  11. Don’t serve alcohol to minors. The legal drinking age is 21. As the host, it is your responsibility to make sure minors aren’t drinking.
  12. Be aware of Oregon's Social Host laws.  As a social host, if you serve visibly intoxicated persons or guests, you may be held liable for damages caused by the persons or guests away from your home or licensed premises (ORS 471.565) 

Cheers to celebrating responsibly! Happy New Year!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Don't Let Your Halloween Become a Nightmare - Celebrate Responsibly

by Joy Spencer 
Halloween is quickly approaching, and will be especially busy with it landing on a Friday this year.

Halloween should be a fun, festive and safe celebration for everyone. Sadly, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Halloween is one of the year’s most dangerous holidays on the road due to alcohol-related crashes caused by those who drink and drive after parties and festivities. In 2012, 48 percent of all crash fatalities on Halloween night involved a drunk driver.

Here are some tips and reminders for party-goers, party planners, and business owners to plan ahead for Halloween safety.
  • Don’t serve alcohol to minors. The legal drinking age is 21 and, as a host, it is your responsibility to make sure minors aren’t drinking.
  • If you’re going to drink alcohol, make plans now for a safe ride home.
  • Party hosts should provide lots of food and non-alcoholic drinks to help guests pace themselves.
  • Bars or restaurants that are hosting costume parties, should make that sure customers are recognizable without masks and elaborate make up when checking ID.
  • Have the number of a cab company or public transit tickets available for guests or customers who’ve had too much.
  • If you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, call your local law enforcement immediately.
  • Drive slowly and watch for children and party-goers crossing the streets.
  • Please remember that masks can impair your vision. If you are walking from place to place on Halloween night, the combination of alcohol and masks can be dangerous.
  • It may be difficult to judge a patron's/guest's level of intoxication when they are in character, such as Jack Sparrow.
  • Be extra diligent when monitoring patrons in your bar, restaurant or private party.

Stay safe and keep others safe around you by celebrating the holiday responsibly, and have a spooktacular time!