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Celebrate the Holidays Safely Urges the Michigan Liquor Control Commission

December 19, 2022 – For those who plan to celebrate the holidays by drinking alcohol, the Michigan Liquor Control Commission (MLCC) wants to remind citizens to do so in moderation and never drink and drive. Parents and guardians are reminded to keep alcohol out of the hands of minor children especially when hosting holiday parties at homeMake safety a priority.

“Although it can be easy to overestimate your fitness to drive when leaving the bar or party, never drink and drive as even one drink can impair a person’s judgment,” said MLCC Chair Pat Gagliardi. “If you’re hosting holiday gatherings at home, never allow your underage kids or their friends to drink alcohol. Keep alcohol securely stored without easy access. Let's keep everyone safe this holiday season."

For adults who choose to drink alcohol, stick with no more than one “standard” drink a day for women or two for men in accordance with federal dietary guidelines. A “standard” drink is less than you think.

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, a "drink" is defined as 0.6 ounces of pure alcohol, or roughly:

  • a 12-ounce beer – (about 5% alcohol)
  • a 5-ounce glass of wine, (typically about 12% alcohol); or
  • 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits (about 40% alcohol).

It’s not just the number of drinks to keep tabs on. It’s important to know the amount/percentage of alcohol by volume – the “ABV” in drinks gives you a good idea of how quickly you can become intoxicated. The higher the content of alcohol – the ABV, the faster intoxication occurs along with the side effects of alcohol consumption. 

The ABV is probably the most important detail that is on any container of alcohol as it tells you just how much alcohol you’re getting.  Not all alcoholic beverages have the same ABV. The ABV of wine is different from that found in vodka, gin, and beer. Container sizes also vary greatly. A 32-ounce beer isn't "just one beer" and a Grande Margarita is not "just one drink." You can easily lose track of just how much alcohol you’re consuming.

Consumer tips for safe holiday celebrations:

  • If you take medications, consider the risks of mixing alcohol with medications. The most common medications that can negatively interact with alcohol are blood pressure medications, antibiotics, and anti-depressants. Talk with your pharmacist about possible interactions. 
  • Never binge drink, generally defined as four or more drinks for women and five or more drinks for men in a two-hour period.
  • Have a pre-set limit. Remember that no one can force you to have "just one more" -- or even one drink.
  • Have a plan before you leave the house on how you’ll get home safely. Designate a sober driver to drive you home, or easily arrange for rideshare services by booking an Uber or Lyft through a phone app. Local taxicab operators are also just a phone call away.
  • If a friend has had too much to drink, take the keys away and make arrangements to get your friend home safely.
  • If you see a drunk driver on the road, call 911 to reach law enforcement.

Parents: know the dangers of underage drinking and “social hosting”

Parents, don’t risk being “social hosts” by knowingly providing alcohol or unknowingly making alcohol accessible in your home to your underage kids and their friends (under age 21). If you keep alcohol in your home, keep track of the supply and store it in an inaccessible place.

Parents and homeowners can be held legally responsible and risk civil and/or criminal liability if underage drinking on their property results in alcohol-related accidents, injuries or deaths.  

If your child is invited out to a party, connect with other parents or caregivers to be sure that a responsible adult will be present and there will be no alcohol.  

The MLCC wishes all Michiganders a safe and happy holiday season!

The mission of the Michigan Liquor Control Commission (MLCC) is to make alcoholic beverages available for consumption while protecting the consumer and the general public through regulation of those involved in the sale and distribution of these alcohol beverage products.