The holiday season will soon be upon us, and social calendars will be filled with festive get-togethers. Parties and celebrations offer a great chance for special gatherings between family and friends. Sadly, they can also lead to an increased risk of impaired driving. The sober driving message will be especially important this holiday season – the first since the legalization of recreational cannabis use.
Whether you are the party guest or the party host, we have some simple tips and guidelines to follow to help prevent impaired driving – whether by alcohol or cannabis – this season.
Safety tips for party-goers
If you’re making rounds to holiday parties and are planning on drinking or consuming cannabis, eliminate the risk of getting behind the wheel altogether and plan a sober transportation option:
- Use a ride sharing service.
- Take a cab.
- Take public transportation.
- Arrange a designated driver.
- Plan to spend the night.
Safety tips for party hosts
As a party host, you have some responsibility for the safety of your guests. There are some simple precautions you can take to make sure you guests get home safely.
- Have lots of food and non-alcoholic/low alcohol beverages available.
- Serve drinks yourself so you can monitor how much your guests are consuming. Don’t serve alcohol to guests who are already intoxicated. Stop serving alcohol long before you expect the party to wind up.
- If guests are consuming cannabis, try to be aware of their consumption/impairment levels.
- Know how your guests are getting home and who is driving.
- If you have a ride sharing service in your area, download the app.
- Have taxi numbers available.
- Be prepared to have intoxicated guests spend the night at your house.
- Keep track of your own alcohol consumption. The more you drink, the more difficult it will be for you to supervise the event.
Be cautious and take action
If you are out on the road and you spot what you suspect is an impaired driver, maintain a safe distance and don’t attempt to pass their vehicle. After pulling over safely, call 911 and alert the police. Give them as much information as possible, such as licence plate number, make, model, and colour of vehicle, and the direction the vehicle is travelling.