December 22, 2014

Have the Conversation: Holiday Party Season Safety Tips

Your holiday party was another success. People laughed, danced and sang off-key to holiday hits. It looks like everyone had an amazing time. But the next day, you get a call.

A guest is in the hospital. She was walking home from the party and stumbled into the street where she was hit by a car. The injuries are severe.

The guest is suing you for failing to prevent her intoxication.

It seems like a stretch, but most hosts and guests don’t realize this type of scenario comes with parties that offer alcohol.

There were 64,000 impairment related injuries in 2010 across the country, according to MADD Canada, and over a thousand deaths. Prevention is a key strategy to bringing these numbers down.

London Police Services say they are often called to parties that get out of control. Many people go to parties intoxicated, and the police are called to deescalate or often times shut the parties down. The London Police Service say making a plan to ensures everyone enjoys the party and goes home safely. Here are some tips on what to plan and discuss with your guests or host before each party.

• Make travel arrangements such as taxi numbers, chits, designated drivers or shuttles.
• Ask how they’ll get home safely as they RSVP.
• Have lots of food!
• Have non-alcohol related games for entertainment.
• Have a bartender or sober guest monitor the drinking, or hand out drink tickets one by one.
• Have a friend support you when talking to intoxicated individuals to ensure they get home safe.
• If all else fails and someone gets in a car or leaves impaired, call the police.

Some of these steps can be uncomfortable when dealing with an impaired person. It’s a difficult conversation, but the alternative is worse. The injury or death of yourself, a guest or others is a real possibility if precautions aren’t taken. So in order to have fun at parties, have the conversation. It could save a life.