Whether your 2014 was a good or a bad year, you’ll most likely want to send it off with a bang this New Year’s Eve. While it’s no secret that many will enjoy a few drinks and party well before and after the big countdown to 2015, there’s no point in starting off the new year with regrets. To help avoid that, here are six safety tips to ensure your celebration doesn’t go awry.
Don’t drink and drive. Unless you’re hosting a New Year's Eve party, you’ll most likely be heading to a friend’s place or a bar to celebrate the end of the year. If you find yourself at a friend's house, don’t be afraid to ask to spend the night. A rough night’s sleep on a sofa is far better than a DUI, or worse, an accident.
If sleeping away from home isn’t an option, you’ll have to plan ahead and assign a designated, sober driver. Write down the number of your local cab company and keep that information on you all night. Alternatively, services such such as Uber and Lyft can be a little expensive on holidays, but well worth it to get you and your loved ones home safely.
There’s no excuse for drinking and getting behind the wheel, so make sure you’ve got a plan in place before you clink your first glass.
Safety in Numbers
Everything is better with friends anyway, so make sure you don’t find yourself alone on New Year’s Eve. A good portion of the population will be drinking, and therefore the streets will get more dangerous. Traveling in a group will help ensure that nothing bad happens to you or those you care about. In addition, always know where it is you’re going. Use a map application on your smartphone or plan your night ahead of time to ensure that you’re spending the least amount of time possible walking or driving outside. Above all, go with your gut. If a street or bar feels unsafe, leave.
It’s the end of another year. That calls for a nice dinner with friends. Even if you just sit around eating a PB&J before getting dressed for your night on the town, having a full stomach before drinking is always smart idea. Not only will it soak up some of the alcohol, it will also keep you from snacking on candy or appetizers at a bar or party.
We’re all adults here. If you’re going to drink, New Year’s Eve is a pretty fun time to do it. That said, it’s no excuse to hurt yourself or others. Know your limits and stick to them. Drinking a glass of water in between mixed drinks is always a great way to ensure that you don’t get too dehydrated or intoxicated.
If you or one of your friends overdrinks and begins to vomit or pass out, don’t hesitate to call it an early night on their behalf. Be on the lookout for the symptoms of alcohol poisoning and call 9-1-1 or Poison Control -- (800) 222-1222 -- if you think someone is in real danger. It’s better to kill the party than to let alcohol kill a friend.
It’s been said that the best-laid plans often go awry. No matter how many of the above tips you follow, your night can always take an unexpected turn. What if someone in your group wants to go home with a stranger? What if your driver has to leave due to an emergency? What if you get separated from your group?
All of these problems can be easily fixed by staying in constant contact with your friends or family. Someone with you should be aware of where you are at all times. New Year’s Eve is not the night to ignore your phone messages and calls, nor is it the night to rely on the kindness of strangers. Keep your phone fully charged and bring a charger in your purse or pocket if you can. If you can’t always be within earshot of your loved ones, at least be reachable on your cell.
Last, but not least, remember to have fun this New Year’s Eve. Whether that means standing in the heart of Times Square in New York City for the ball drop, or sipping wine at home with a few close friends and Netflix, always remember to not feel pressured to do anything that isn’t fun for you. After all, the New Year is supposed to be a fresh start, so why kick off 2015 somewhere you don’t really want to be?