Summertime means party time for many people. No school, longer days, and warmer weather provide the perfect opportunity for lots of parties and barbecues, many of which involve copious amounts of alcohol. If you're planning on hosting any parties that involve alcohol during the summertime (or any other time, for that matter,) use these tips to help make sure your guests stay safe.
Feed your guests
Food plays an important role in most parties, but it's especially important when you're serving alcohol. Put simply, alcohol is absorbed more slowly when there's food in your stomach, so make sure your guests don't get too tipsy, too quickly, by offering plenty of protein-rich foods like lean meats and nuts that will slow down the effects of alcohol in your guests.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
Warm weather makes people tend to want to drink more, so offer your guests some serious hydration in addition to your alcoholic beverage selection. Water is great, but if you want something fancier, try creating infused water blends with seasonal summer fruits and berries. Flavorful water will encourage your guests to drink more H2O and slow down the effects of the booze.
Make transportation arrangements before you start partying
If your guests plan on drinking, make sure they have a plan to get home safely after the party. Unless you are planning on letting your guests sleep over at your house, they'll need a safe way to get home. Some may choose to have designated drivers, but others may plan on driving. If they've been drinking, this could be a dangerous choice that puts them and others on the road at risk.
According to statistics, a combination of holiday drivers and those driving under the influence of alcohol can cause the number of automotive deaths to soar to nearly double in the summer months. While you can't keep your guests safe from other drunk drivers, you can keep intoxicated guests off the road with minimal planning.
- Keep the number of a local taxi service on hand to send intoxicated guests home safely. They can pick up their car the next day once they're safe to drive.
- Encourage designated drivers to party responsibly by providing plenty of non-alcoholic drinks and tasty foods.
- If you have space in your home, offer your guests a place to sleep off the effects of the alcohol.
- Invest in a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) device, or breathalyzer, to make sure that guests really are safe to drive home. Even a couple of drinks could put a person over the safe driving limit, so don't just guess at whether they've had too much to drink.
- If you're worried about footing the bill for a taxi cab, ask guests to each contribute a couple of dollars at the start of the party. Let them know that it's to cover the cost of any unexpected cab fares, and they'll probably be willing to contribute, especially if they think there's a chance they'll be the ones needing a cab
Practice outdoor safety
If your party is outdoors during daytime hours, don't forget to consider the effects of the sun on your guests. People tend to drink more when they are sitting outside in the heat, and this can lead to drinking too much, too quickly. Heat exhaustion, sunstroke, and severe dehydration can occur when you consume too much alcohol on a hot day outdoors. Make sure your guests are alternating between alcoholic drinks and water to prevent this from happening.
Of course, if your party happens to be a pool party, make sure that intoxicated guests don't injure themselves or others in the water. Parties are not the place for showing off clever diving techniques or stunts, especially if you've been drinking.
Summer parties are great, but if you want to be remembered as the host with the most concern for your guests' well-being, keep them safe during and after your gathering. A little planning and common sense can keep everyone safe and happy so you can party all summer long.