Even though the barbecue season is almost year-round in Florida, summer with vacations and long holiday weekends is the time when more Floridians and visitors spend relaxing and socializing with family and friends. Many of these occasions involve alcoholic beverages. All too often, though, these get-togethers can end in tragedy.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that someone is injured in a drunk-driving crash approximately once every 90 seconds.
The majority of traffic deaths in Florida, and across the nation, occur during the summer months, according to law enforcement agencies.
Excess drinking and summer activities do not mix.
Drinking alcoholic beverages not only impairs the physical ability, but also the mental ability. Inhibitions are decreased, and there can be tragic consequences on the road, on the water, or anywhere.
In addition, the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIH) also says that heat plus alcohol can equal trouble. When temperatures are high, the body loses fluid through perspiration. When drinking alcohol at the same time, the effects of alcohol are that there is an increase in urination. The combination can quickly result in dehydration or heat stroke.
Proper planning can ensure a safe barbecue.
When planning a barbecue with friends, here are some tips for hosts from Indiana.edu:
- Plan people movement. Make sure that people can move around and meet one another. If it means putting the sofa in a corner, do so.
- Pace the drinks. Serve drinks at regular, reasonable intervals. A drink-an-hour schedule usually means that good company prevails, and you can avoid intoxication. Use small cups for beer drawn out of kegs rather than large ones.
- Push the snacks. Make sure that people are eating along with drinking. Have plenty of high quality snacks such as cheese, meats, nuts, etc.
- Do not push the drinks. Let the glass be empty before you offer a refill.
- Serve nonalcoholic beverages also. Remember that many people do not drink and may be on medications or recovering alcoholics. Make sure that you have something nonalcoholic to drink such as good quality soft drinks and juice.
- Closing the party. Decide, in advance, when you want your barbecue to end. At this time, stop serving alcohol and serve coffee and a substantial snack. This provides some non-drinking time before your guests drive home.
When the party is over...
- Have a designated driver or limo service available at all times to drive your guests home.
- Have your guests “turn in” their keys at the door when they arrive. If someone has had too much to drink and insists on driving, there will be less of a scene if you already have his or her keys in your possession.
- Call a cab or insist that a guest who has had too much to drink sleep overnight at your home.
- If all else fails and a guest who has had too much to drink will not listen to reason, drive the guest home yourself.
“Barbecues are fun and can create memories. To make sure the memories are great memories, we at Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A., encourage everyone to follow the recommendations above,” said Hurt By Drunk Driver Attorney, Randall Spivey.
Hurt By Drunk Driver Attorney, Randall L. Spivey is a Board Certified Trial Attorney – the highest recognition for competence bestowed by the Florida Bar and a distinction earned by just one (1%) percent of Florida attorneys. He has handled over 2,000 personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout Florida. For a free and confidential consultation to discuss your legal rights, contact the Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A., in Lee County at 239.337.7483 or toll free at 1.888.477.4839,or by email to Randall@SpiveyLaw.com. Visit SpiveyLaw.com for more information. You can contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A.in Charlotte County at 941.764.7748 and in Collier County 239.793.7748.