Local News

Holiday Drinking

Posted December 30, 1997

— It's hard to resist all the good food around the holidays, and for some people, it's also hard to resist the alcohol.

The temptation can be especially great on New Year's Eve for people who have a tendency to abuse alcohol.

Going to a New Year's Party where alcohol is served can be very difficult for some people. Counselors say these people tend to be problem drinkers. They are not chemically dependent on alcohol, but they may abuse it in social situations. Counselors say moderation is the key to a safe and happy holiday.

Bartenders say that it's important for people to think about how they celebrate. Nicole Kerr tends bar at the East Village Grill in Raleigh. Occasionally, she has to cut a customer off.

Bartenders say in order to drink in moderation, partiers should know how much alcohol is in their glass. For example, one full beer has about the same amount of alcohol as one five-ounce glass of wine or one shot of liquor. Most alcoholic beverages show the percentage of alcohol on the label.

Substance abuse counselor Chris Budnick says there are some important questions you can ask yourself to determine whether or not you have a problem. Mainly, you should know if you lose control when you start drinking.

For people who want to avoid alcohol, there are many alcohol-free New Year's Eve celebrations like First Night in Raleigh, where you can have fun without losing control, says Budnick.

If you are going to drink, there are some tips that can help you stay within your limits.

  • Have a plan about how much you will drink, pace yourself, and choose drinks which are low in alcohol content.
  • Finally, share your plan with a friend who can help you stick to it.

    Editor's Note:The State Highway Patrol will pay particular attention to drinking and driving this holiday season.

    State Troopers on Patrol -- or S.T.O.P. -- has been in effect for a week now. The program assigns all troopers to pay particular attention to stopping drunk drivers.

    Alcohol law enforcement agents are also increasing their rounds to find the source of alcohol of underaged drinkers.

    The North Carolina Department of Crime Control and Public Safety wants to remind party-throwers not to let their guests drink and drive. Party hosts can face civil liability if a drunk guest gets behind the wheel and gets in an accident.

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