President’s Perspective: Holiday Parties

With the early onslaught of holiday parties for work and with friends and family, the Canada Safety Council wants to remind you to not mix drinking and driving.

A 2009 survey by the Traffic Injury Research Foundation found that 5.6 per cent of respondents had driven when they thought they were over the legal limit, at least once in the past year. Although a considerable drop from 8.2 per cent in 2007, there’s still room for improvement.

Whether you are attending a social gathering or having a few people over, you or your guests may want to have a few drinks. Make arrangements to ensure everyone gets home safely.

If you are hosting a party, you should be concerned about your guests consuming too much alcohol, and then getting behind the wheel. Monitor and supervise the service and consumption of alcohol, also limit your own consumption. A sober host is an alert host. Serve food that is high in protein and starch, and have plenty of non-alcoholic choices available. If a guest appears to be impaired, encourage him or her to give you their car keys. Have them take a cab home or stay the night.

We urge all Canadians to drive sober — or plan an alternate way to get home safely. Call a family member, a friend or a cab for a safe ride home. Remember the cost of a cab ride will be much less than the cost of having to deal with an impaired driving charge. It doesn’t always happen to another person, it can happen to you. A designated driver is another good option, but choosing to ride with a driver who’s been drinking is not. Taking the wheel is absolutely not an option if you have been drinking.

On behalf of the Canada Safety Council, I wish for all Canadians to have a safe and happy holiday season!

Safety, It’s an attitude

Jack Smith, President