There’s no worse way to start off the new year than having to make a trip to the ER. So whether you’re planning on going out or hosting your own celebration this New Year’s Eve, here are some simple things you can do to ensure you have a fun, memorable, and safe start to 2019.
Don’t Drink and Drive
This one should go without saying, but it has to be said every year: Don’t drink and drive. Not only will you be putting others at serious risk of injury or death, but you’ll be putting yourself in harm’s way as well. Be smart and don’t risk it even if you think you can probably make it home after a few drinks.
Remember, a long Uber, Lyft, or cab ride is far less expensive than a trip to the hospital or a ride in a police car.
Use Public Transportation if Possible
Whether you’re planning on consuming alcoholic beverages or not, the unfortunate truth is that there will still be plenty of people on the road who aren’t being smart about drinking and driving.
Avoid as much driving as possible by making use of buses, trains or other mass transit options in the DC area. If there aren’t any mass transit options available for where you’re going, consider booking a room or staying with a friend nearby so that you don’t have to travel far on New Year’s Eve.
Pace yourself and know your limits. It’s OK to enjoy alcoholic beverages if you’re over 21 and you’re doing it responsibly, but, just like everything else on this list, be smart about it.
A good rule of thumb is to consume no more than one alcoholic drink per hour. And be sure to drink plenty of water and other non-alcoholic, low-sugar beverages to avoid dehydration. A simple way to do this is to alternate between water and alcoholic beverages throughout the night.
Eat Before You Head Out
Eating a healthy yet filling dinner is one of the best ways to prepare for a New Year’s Eve celebration. Not only will it help you avoid overindulging on treats and snacks while you’re out, but it’ll also help your body absorb alcohol you consume, which is the ideal way to avoid alcohol poisoning, too.
Be Smart About Champagne
Don’t overlook the dangers of mishandled Champagne at midnight. The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) warns that corks can cause serious and potentially blinding eye injuries. This is because Champagne or sparkling wine corks can contain pressure levels as high as 90 pounds per square inch, which is much higher than the pressure in most car tires. All that pressure can propel a flying cork at speeds of up to 50 mph — fast enough to shatter glass.
The AAO recommends chilling your Champagne or sparkling wine to 45 degrees Fahrenheit (or colder) before you open it because warm bottles are more likely to pop unexpectedly. Here’s a great video to watch if you want to know how to open a bottle properly.
Go Out with a Group
One of the best ways to avoid trouble or mishaps on New Year’s Eve is to go out with a group of friends you trust.
Look out for one another and keep tabs on how much alcohol you and others in your group are consuming, and never let anyone in your group leave their drink unattended. If someone looks like they’ve had enough or needs to go home, you can help keep them safe — and they can keep you safe — by getting them a ride or making sure they get home.