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Celebrate the Holidays Safely – If You Drink, Don’t Drive; Keep Alcohol Out of the Hands of Minors Urges the Michigan Liquor Control Commission
December 20, 2023
If you drink alcohol, don’t drive this holiday season, have a plan for a safe, sober ride home urges the Michigan Liquor Control Commission (MLCC). Parents and guardians are also reminded to keep alcohol out of the hands of minor children especially when hosting holiday parties at home.
“Saving lives this holiday season means never making risky decisions by drinking and driving; always drive sober,” said MLCC Chair Kristin Beltzer. “If you’re hosting a gathering, make sure your guests have a sober ride home and keep alcohol away from the kids.”
It can be easy to underestimate alcohol consumption. A “standard” drink is defined as 0.6 ounces of pure alcohol which is roughly found in 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)*.
The amount/percentage of alcohol by volume or “ABV” in alcoholic beverages varies widely. Faster intoxication occurs along with the side effects of alcohol consumption in drinks with higher ABV. The ABV in 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 Long Island Iced Tea is not "just one drink."
Consumer tips for safe holiday celebrations:
- 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. Never feel pressured into having "just one more" -- or to even have 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.
- Don’t let someone get behind the wheel if that person has been drinking. Take the keys away and arrange to get your friend home safely.
- Call 911 if you see a drunk driver on the road.
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. Source: * National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism