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Tips on how to prevent your guests from driving drunk

When you invite people to your home for a social occasion that includes alcoholic drinks, your first consideration should be their safety, especially where driving is concerned once the party is over. As the host, you want to pay attention to the quantity of alcohol your guests consume and how it affects them. Some people can put away several drinks without appearing to be intoxicated, but the fact is that alcohol absorbed into the body's bloodstream constitutes a potential problem in terms of driving. With this in mind, there are several steps you can take to help prevent your guests from drinking and driving.

Plan for plenty of food

A full stomach slows the rate of alcohol absorption. Appetizers help, and this is a good time for you to think in terms of fatty foods like cheese, nuts and deep-fried treats such as mozzarella or zucchini. If your event features a more substantial meal, so much the better.

Offer mocktails

You can get pretty creative with non-alcoholic drinks. After all, a Virgin Mary looks just like a Bloody Mary, and if you serve something tall, pink and frosty with an umbrella and an orange slice, no one other than the recipient needs to know it is a perfectly innocent beverage. A rule of thumb for any host is to not push alcohol. Be prepared to serve sodas, mocktails or alcohol-free punch for designated drivers and others who would rather not imbibe.

Engage guests in fun activities

Plan to have games or activities where drinks can be set aside for a while. Set up a volleyball or badminton net in the backyard. Plan a snipe hunt. Play charades or some simple team building games. In addition to slowing the drinking at your party, keeping guests involved in activities helps to break the ice.

Make alternate transportation arrangements

If you do see that a guest has had too much to drink and does not have a designated driver, do not be afraid to hide his or her car keys. If the person becomes belligerent, it is probably a signal that you have done the right thing. Your tipsy friend can stay the night at your house, you can call for a cab or arrange that he or she be given a ride home with one of the other non-drinking guests.

Invest in a breath-testing kit

If you feel you might not be a good judge of a guest's alcohol level, you might consider keeping a breath-testing kit on hand. They are inexpensive, and you can find them at pharmacies and big box stores.

Enjoy yourself at your own party

While you must take your responsibilities as host seriously, you can watch over your guests and still have a good time. If one of your guests is involved in a drunk driving accident, it is in your best interest to consult with an attorney.

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