photo-happy-new-yearNew Year’s Eve is a night to have fun, celebrate the coming year and reminisce about the year passed. Many people look at it as a fresh start — a time to make resolutions and changes to help you ensure a prosperous and happy year to come.

As 2013 quickly draws to a close, many have begun planning how they will ring in 2014. Whether you will be hosting or attending a New Year’s party, making your way to a public celebration, or staying in with family and friends, here are a few tips to help you and your guests stay safe this New Year’s Eve.

Hosting a Party

As a host of a New Year’s Eve party, you want your celebration to be memorable; however, with New Year’s going hand-in-hand with champagne, your duty as a host is to ensure it’s memorable for the right reasons.

The following tips can help you throw a safe, fun and memorable party.

  • Collect car keys from guests and put them in a safe spot, ensuring they are only returned to designated drivers at the end of the night.
  • Have information on alternate forms of transportation readily available. This can include taxi company numbers or public transit information.
    • In Canada and the USA you can dial #TAXI to connect to the first available taxi service.
  • Be prepared to allow guests to spend the night should they be unable to arrange for safe transportation home.
  • Serve plenty of non-alcoholic beverages, and encourage your guests to pace themselves when it comes to consuming alcohol.
  • Serve food and snacks, particularly meats and cheeses, throughout the night. These foods help slow the rate at which the body absorbs alcohol.
  • Do not make alcohol the focus of the party. Have activities, games and music planned to help take the emphasis off drinking.
  • Watch your own alcohol intake. Your responsibility as a host is to ensure the enjoyment and safety of your guests —something you’ll be unable to do if intoxicated.

Attending a Party

If you plan on taking a night off from hosting duties and will be attending a party or event, here are some tips to help you ring in 2014 safely.

  • Never drink and drive. If you plan on indulging, arrange for a designated driver, take a cab or take public transit.
    • Many cities across Canada offer free subway/bus rides on New Year’s Eve. Check your local public transit website to see if your city participates in this program.
  • Bring a friend or family member with you so you can look out for each other’s well-being.
  • Know your limits and pace yourself by drinking slowly and alternating alcoholic beverages with non-alcoholic ones.
  • Snack on high protein foods while drinking to help slow alcohol absorption.
  • Pay attention to what is happening around you and avoid risky activities.