Tell Unsafe Drinking to Take a Hike: Tips for Safe Summer Fun!

There are some things this time of year that people wish to celebrate and some people may make the choice to drink while they do so.  The weather is nice and people are enjoying activities outside, like swimming, boating, waterskiing, and sporting activities.  There’s July 4th, graduation parties, and summer barbecues.  While it may be okay to have a few drinks to celebrate and enjoy ourselves, there are some times when it’s not okay.  In cases of safety, it’s never okay to drink.

Here are some things about drinking to keep in mind if you choose to do so:

  • Remember that even one drink will impair you in some way. Though there is a “legal limit” to driving after drinking, that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.
  • NOTHING can sober you up besides the passing of time. Coffee, water, caffeine, or a cold shower will not help you sober up.
  • It takes about 1 hour per standard size drink ( one 12oz bottle of beer, one 5 ounce glass of wine or one shot of 80proof liquor) to leave your system.  So if you have 4 drinks within a short period of time, it will still be in your system two hours later.  This may be a problem if you decide to drive or go boating or engage in some other risky activity.
  • Heavy night of drinking the night before? There’s a good chance, though you may feel “pretty sober”, that there is quite a bit of alcohol in your system, especially in the morning. If you have to drive to work or somewhere else, you may still ‘blow numbers’ if you are pulled over for any reason.

And here are some other tips to help you if your plans might include drinking:

  • Make the decision before you engage in an activity whether or not you will be drinking. If you choose not to, then stick with it.
  • If you choose to drink, be sure to stay hydrated. Hiking and other sporting activities can quickly lead to a dangerous dehydration situation when paired with alcohol.
  • Alternate alcoholic drinks and nonalcoholic drinks. This will slow your drinking down and ensure that you don’t get drunk too quickly.
  • If driving a car or a boat is in your future, be sure to have a safety plan (i.e. a designated driver or not drinking at all) in place. Always have at least one person who has agreed to let you call them if you need a ride.

Remember to have (safe) fun this season and keep in mind the above suggestions!