Put on Your Seat BeltPosted: February 15, 2011
Tips from Sober Driver
Do we get into a car when a friend has had a few drinks and insists on driving?
How do we handle that ?
Is it illegal to take away a drunk person’s car keys?
She is demanding her keys back, because they’re her property. She swears she is not planning to drive, but on a previous occasion, when she finally got her keys back, she promptly took off to a local bar. With this precedent, is it legally acceptable to withhold someone’s car keys from them as long as they’re intoxicated?
Entertaining a guest who is an alcoholic in recovery.
- Feel free to serve alcohol beverages at your gathering. You need not plan your party around a guest you know is in recovery. “Alcoholism comes in a person, not in a bottle. The recovering alcoholic won’t suddenly relapse if alcohol is available.”
- Don’t make a big deal of it if someone at your party is in recovery. There are plenty of reasons people say no to alcohol beverages, including preference, dieting, interactions with medications, and serving as designated driver, as well as being in recovery from alcoholism. There is no reason to differentiate one guest’s reason for abstaining from another’s. If someone declines a drink, don’t ask why.
- Include non-alcoholic beverages in your offerings. While some non-drinkers will drink non-alcoholic beer and wine, most recovering alcoholics prefer beverages that don’t look or taste like the real thing.
- Foods cooked with wine, brandy, and other spirits long enough to destroy the alcohol content are technically OK. Most, but not all recovering alcoholics feel comfortable eating them, so let guests know what’s cooked with alcohol.
- Foods with uncooked alcohol are another matter. If you include them on your buffet table, label them so the recovering alcoholic can steer clear.
- The same goes for punch; let guests know if it contains alcohol.
Don’t drink and drive and don’t ride with anyone who has too much to drink. Remember, it is usually themselves and their passengers who are harmed by drunk drivers. Volunteer to be a designated driver.
- If you must drive after drinking, stay completely sober:
- Don’t be fooled. The contents of the typical bottle or can of beer, glass of wine, or liquor drink each contain virtually identical amounts of pure alcohol. When it comes to alcohol, a drink is a drink is a drink and are all the same to a breathalyzer.
- Eat food while you drink. Food, especially high protein food such as meat, cheese and peanuts, will help slow the absorption of alcohol into your body.
- Sip your drink.
- Accept a drink only when you really want one. If someone tries to force a drink on you, ask for a non-alcohol beverage instead. If that doesn’t work, “lose” your drink by setting it down somewhere and leaving it.
- Skip a drink now and then. Having a non-alcoholic drink between alcoholic ones will help keep your blood alcohol content level down, as does spacing out your alcoholic drink.
- Keep active; don’t just sit around and drink. If you stay active you tend to drink less.
- Beware of unfamiliar drinks. Some drinks can be deceiving as the alcohol content is not detectable.
- Use alcohol carefully in connection with pharmaceuticals.
Know your limit.
- Volunteer to be a designated driver.
- Don’t ever let your friends drive drunk. Take their keys, have them stay the night, have them ride home with someone else, call a cab, or do whatever else is necessary – but don’t let them drive!