Helpful tips for safe summer celebrations

10 years ago

To the editor:
From barbecues to picnics to community events, outdoor celebrations are part of summertime gatherings. To ensure everyone has a good time, keep safe celebrating in mind; as an organizer or event host, your guests are your responsibility.
Event planning requires many duties, including organizing, food preparation, entertainment, and so forth. In the preparation frenzy, perhaps the most important responsibility that the host of a gathering has where alcohol is served can be overlooked. The number of alcohol-related car crashes every year in the U.S. is a reminder to hosts to make non-alcoholic beverages and alternative transportation options a priority. The safety of your guests both during and after the celebration should be at the top of your to-do list.
Drinking and driving can have devastating consequences. Alcohol-impaired motor vehicle crashes cost more than an estimated $37 billion annually. In 2010, more than 10,000 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes—one every 51 minutes. Also in recent years, an estimated 1.9 million emergency department visits were associated with substance misuse or abuse, with alcohol as the primary substance that is misused or abused.
So what tips can event hosts and party-givers follow to ensure the safety of their guests and others on the road?
• Avoid making alcohol the main focus of the event.
• Entertain guests with music, dancing, games, food, etc.
• Offer plenty of non-alcoholic beverages.
• Recruit designated drivers.
• If all else fails, offer guests a place to stay for the night.
Community Voices would like to wish everyone, party-givers and party-goers, safe and happy family reunions and summer celebrations.

Michelle Plourde Chasse
project manager
Community Voices
Fort Kent