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Responsible Drinking

Planning a Responsible Party

​​​​Serving Alcohol at Parties

Everyone likes to share good news and have good times with friends. But, when you plan a party, you need to be a responsible host. When you plan a party, think about having a party without alcohol. If you decide to serve alcohol, here are a few tips to ensure your guests have a good time and get home safely.

  • Serve high protein foods. Foods with protein and starch (e.g., cheese, meat, seafood, raw vegetables with dip) delay the absorption of alcohol. Limit salty foods because they make people thirsty. Keep snack trays well-stocked throughout the party.
  • Serve some nonalcoholic drinks. Many guests don't want to drink alcohol. Some people might not be able to drink alcohol (e.g., medical reasons, a recovering alcoholic, a designated driver). It is a good idea to serve pop, coffee, or a nonalcoholic punch.
  • Measure drinks. Use a shot glass or a self-measuring 1-ounce spout on bottles. This will ensure drinks contain standard amounts of alcohol. Mix drinks yourself or ask a responsible adult to be bartender to ensure standard measures are used. Remember that a person could be impaired from as little as 2 drinks over a short time.
  • Don't force guests to drink. Respect the right not to drink or to control drinking. Don't rush to refill a guest’s glass as soon as it’s empty. Many guests will take a drink that they don't really want, just to be polite.
  • Plan activities so drinking is not the main focus of the party.
  • Stop serving alcohol an hour before the party will end. During the last hour of the party, serve coffee or nonalcoholic drinks with a light snack. This gives guests extra time for their blood alcohol level to decrease before they drive home.
  • If someone drinks too much, have a sober person drive the guest home, call a cab, or offer a spare bedroom or sofa to the guest. Remember, if someone leaves your party drunk, you could be liable for harm that happens to the guest or others.

Only Time Can Lower Impairment

The only thing that can sober up someone is time. Black coffee, fresh air, exercise, or a cold shower won't make someone sober up. Be aware that the medicines someone might be taking could have adverse effects when combined with alcohol use.

Entertaining is a responsibility. Your duties as host include knowing how much alcohol your guests drink. Do this to make sure everyone has a good time from the start of the party to the end.

How much is too much?

Normally, the body can safely handle about 1 standard drink an hour. However, this depends on your size, how fast you drink, what you've eaten, how you feel, whether you are a man or woman, and how alcohol affects you.

There is the same alcohol content in a:
  • 5 ounce glass of wine
  • 12 ounces bottle of regular (5 percent) beer
  • 1 ounce of hard liquor

No matter which you drink, it's all the same to the body.​ So remember, hosting a party is a responsibility.

Current as of: March 7, 2017

Author: Addiction & Mental Health, Alberta Health Services