Drinking a responsible amount of alcohol with friends can be wonderful. Alcohol is well-known as a “social lubricant,” and casual drinkers know that it can make things a bit more cheerful in a lot of social situations. Alcohol may also be good for us in small doses, health experts say.
But alcohol can also, of course, be dangerous. That’s why enjoying alcohol responsibly is so important. Being responsible about your alcohol intake means paying attention to how much you’re drinking. It also means paying attention to the situations and decisions that your drinking affects and triggers.
Dangers of alcohol: your health, your decisions, and the law
Alcohol’s dangers are well-documented, and you are likely aware of them. None of them mean that alcohol can’t be a fun and positive part of your life, but they are instructive as we consider how to enjoy alcohol responsibly.
Alcohol impairs our bodies and brains. With excessive consumption, we lose our ability to tightly control how our body behaves. Our reflexes become slower, our senses dulled, and our decision-making poor. That’s why drunken driving is so dangerous. Tragically, 28 people a day are killed in drunken-driving accidents. And drunken driving is, of course, illegal. If you’re caught, you’ll end up arrested. And the increasing number of accidents that alcohol is associated with can be a problem for you in terms of legal liability, say the injury lawyers at Pepper and Odom, who specialize in car crashes.
When people are injured through no fault of their own, they can sue negligent parties in an attempt to receive the compensation they deserve. If you’re the one who was negligent, that can be a costly proposition. You could end up having to cover things such as medical bills, lost wages, and other consequences of a crash — as well you should, if you caused an accident by needlessly making poor decisions about alcohol.
Stay responsible with alcohol
If you want to avoid the legal, personal, moral, and health-related consequences of drinking, then you need to do a few things. You need to be careful about how much you drink, of course. The more you drink, the more dangerous alcohol is. But even when you’re consuming sensibly, you should consider your decisions and your plan for your fun night.
If you’re headed to a bar, take a cab or public transit. In the age of Uber and Lyft, you have no excuse for drunken driving even if there are no nearby buses or subways — not, of course, that there ever was. Getting home safe after drinking is easy, so don’t risk getting behind the wheel, even if you’ve only had a beer or two. Tipsy driving is just another kind of drunken driving.
And why not stay in with your friends and drink? Pros at a liquor store in Lawrenceville, NJ, point out that this can be both safer and most cost-effective, because bars have big markups built into their prices for booze. Have friends or family stay the night, and you won’t have to worry about transportation issues. Mixing up cocktails can be fun, and the right booze can really improve a party. Just make sure nobody’s driving home, and you can have a blast.
Alcohol and your lifestyle
Alcohol can be dangerous, but it doesn’t have to be. If you are able to make safe and responsible decisions about your alcohol intake, you’ll be able to have a great time with friends without having to worry about the moral, legal, and health-related costs of consuming booze.