The holiday season is fast approaching, and with it comes invitations and party guests. Often, along with a gorgeous spread of food, comes stocking your home bar with drinks.

While you hope that your friends and family will make responsible choices about driving home after your party, it can be challenging to keep track of how much individuals consume. As you plan your holiday parties, you may also want to consider encouraging your guests to make safer choices.

Here’s what to think about as you plan your holiday get-togethers.

Keep guests accountable

For some, planning a safe ride home is part of attending an evening out. However, others may decide to figure out how they will get home at the last moment when it is time to leave.

As you confirm plans with your guests, ask them to plan for a ride home. For your friends who do not have a plan, offer options, such as:

  • Contact information for someone who is already planning to stay sober
  • Information for local ridesharing services
  • A couch or spare bedroom to rest for the night
  • Alcohol-free “mock-tails” so they stay sober

When your guests have a plan for getting home safely, they are more likely to follow it. By asking your friends for their plan, you add an extra layer of accountability to their plan.

A curfew for cocktails

Often, the struggle with drinking at a party is that there are drinks available until everyone leaves. If people are still drinking before they walk out the door, they probably are not sober enough to drive.

Depending on the length of your party, consider offering drinks for the first hour and then switching everyone to alcohol-free alternatives. When alcoholic beverages are no longer an option, your guests will have more time for their body to process what they consumed at the beginning of the party.

Keep in mind that different bodies process alcohol at different rates. While limiting the availability of alcoholic drinks may help, people who do not process alcohol quickly or those who consume several beverages at the beginning of the party may still not be ready to drive home.