Its nearly that time of year again folks when there will be Christmas party after Christmas party and alcohol is on offer everywhere. How do you enjoy yourself, and still be safe to drive to work the following morning.
Well the good news is with a little planning and thought you can still enjoy a drink with friends, family and colleagues without over indulging.
How long does alcohol take to leave your system
As a guide it takes about one hour per unit of alcohol to clear your system, though this can vary depending on a number of factors.
Here are 10 tips to help you stay safe and still enjoy yourself!
- Plan ahead. Decide who is going to drive to the party or if you are going to get a taxi, walk or public transport. Decide how much alcohol you are going to allow yourself to drink and what you are going to drink. Best to avoid mixing drinks.
- If you decide you are going to drive then it is best to abstain completely from alcohol. Plan what you will drink instead, and if the party is in someones house then take some non alcoholic drinks with you that you like.
- Make sure that you always eat something before you go out. If a meal is included in your celebrations you may not be eating until late and until quite a considerable amount of alcohol has already been consumed. Food in your stomach will slow down the absorption of alcohol and enable you to stay more in control.
- Choose long drinks rather than shorts. Shorts are a sure fired way to get drunk very quickly. Best choice is a short with a mixer, in a tall glass. Gin and tonic is a good choice. Stay on the singles though , rather than the doubles.
- Keep track of how much you are drinking. It's very easy to lose count of how many units of alcohol you've had. We've all been there. Either make a mental note or write it down in your phone or a notepad.
- Order a large glass of tap water or take a bottle of water with you. Drink water throughout the evening as this will help you to dilute the alcohol in your system and reduce the amount of alcohol you consume.
- Watch your wine intake. It is very easy for friends or colleagues to fill your glass up without you really taking note and its very easy to drink too much wine in a social situation which you will later regret. Opt for white wine spritzers or dilute your wine with fizzy bottled water. A bottle of fizzy water for the table is always a good idea then you can fill your wine glass with it. Also remember all wine glass sizes are not the same. A large glass of wine (250ml) is a whopping 3 units, and with some of the enormous wine glasses around now it is probably considerably more.
- Stop drinking early. The time depends on what time you have to be up the following morning and what you have to do that day. How long alcohol stays in your system depends on many things including how much alcohol you have consumed, your body weight, how efficiently you process alcohol etc
- Stop drinking if you feel drunk or unwell. This is a sure fired sign that you need to switch to water or soft drinks or have something to eat
- Go home at a sensible hour. There is nothing cool about being the last person to leave the party. Leaving early will mean that you are less likely to overindulge. if you have to drive or work the following morning it is sensible to aim to leave by 11pm and stop drinking well before that.
Remember alcohol can still be in your blood long after the festive celebrations have finished and you may still be over the drink drive limit the morning after
Driving or operating machinery while over the drink driving limit is a criminal offence. Many companies operate a zero tolerance to being under the influence of alcohol in the workplace, and are in fact ordering disposable alcohol breathalyser kits, to give in party bags to employees at the Christmas party, to check themselves the morning after.
If you are unsure or think you may still have alcohol in your system then do not drive.
- About 1 in 5 drink drive accidents happen the morning after.
- Do not assume because you have not had an alcoholic drink since the previous night that you are safe to drive because alcohol can stay in the system for many hours