How to drink responsibly is not rocket science, and is an important skill to know. Irresponsible drinking leads to uncomfortable hangovers the next day, and can be fatal in certain circumstances. Though not fatal, alcohol poisoning is no treat either; no one wants to spend their weekend hooked up to a saline drip in the hospital, waiting for the vomiting to stop. Luckily, there are some tips and tricks that let you have fun while keeping you safe, such as…
- Drink water between drinks. This may seem silly, but even though alcohol is a drink, it dehydrates you. Also, the more dehydrated you get, the higher effect alcohol has on your body. This is why that after you have a drink, the effects of subsequent drinks will become increasingly more prominent if you do not take steps to hydrate yourself.
- Limit yourself to one drink per hour. This may not sound like a lot, but you will still be able to maintain a healthy buzz while drinking responsibly. This is as much alcohol as your body can healthily process at a time (which is about half an ounce). This is why you can actually become drunker even after you've stopped drinking; your body is still trying to metabolize the alcohol in your system. Stay away from shots, and nurse mixed drinks by making them last the full hour. This is similar to how pasta continues to cook for a couple minutes even after you turn off the stove; although the heat has been instantly removed, the heat within the pasta will continue to cook the pasta.
- Buzzed driving is drunk driving. If you are drinking during a meal or while snacking, the effects of alcohol will not be as intense, but they are equally dangerous. Not to mention expensive! For example, in the state of Pennsylvania, if your BAC (blood alcohol content) reads .08% to .099%, this is considered general impairment and will land you a $300 fine for your first offense. A second offense will cost between $300 and $2,500 plus jail time. If you still haven't learned your lesson, your ticket will cost a minimum of $500 and as much as $5,000, not to mention a mandatory device installed into your car that requires you to blow a .00% before your engine will even start. Even from a first time offense of having a high BAC, considered to be .10% to .159%, you face jail time.
- Being the passenger doesn't save your life. The next most stupid thing is getting in the passenger seat of a drunk driver. Either designate a sober driver before the night begins, or spend the night wherever you are drinking. If at a bar, call a cab. There are many services, especially on New Year's Ever, that offer a free ride home to inebriated customers.
How to drink responsibly is a life-saving habit to learn, and one that should be utilized every time you drink. You do not have to be smashed to be the life of the party, in fact quite the opposite. Nobody wants to baby-sit the sloppy drunk, so keep yourself in check by staying safe.