When done responsibly, social drinking with your friends and close family members can be a fun time. You may love a classy wine, a casual beer, or a bitter shot. Before you start drinking, however, you have to go in with a plan to ensure you don’t cause tragedy to yourself or anyone else. This is your checklist to becoming a responsible drinker.
Know Your Limits
Alcohol affects different people in different ways. While most people can have a small sip without feeling dizzy, the way your body carries alcohol will vary greatly after your first full drink. You need to understand your personal limits mentally. According to Red Rock Brewery, you should also be aware of the biological science behind different types of drinks.
For instance, shorter and lighter people generally cannot have as much liquor in their bodies without feeling its negative effects. Different kinds of drinks also have different levels of alcohol. Plan out exactly how many drinks you are going to have so you don’t black out and wake up with immeasurable regret.
Next, you should make sure you don’t put yourself in a position to drink and drive. According to Rogers Beltran, there are serious legal and personal consequences for driving under the influence, and you don’t want to face any of them. Making smart decisions long before you get inside the bar will keep you in a good space.
Always have a designated driver in your party. If this isn’t possible, you have other options. Schedule an Uber or Lyft to pick you up at a specific time, and be ready for it. Whatever you do, do not drive.
Bring Cash—Not Card
This may seem like a weird recommendation, but there is some truth to it. You shouldn’t bring your credit or debit card with you if you plan on drinking pretty heavily. Cash limits you more, and commits you to your budget. Drinks cost a lot of money, and if you had a way to pay “infinitely” without restriction, you may regret it in the morning. Granted, this isn’t a problem if you stick to a set number of drinks. According to the World Bank, being responsible with your drink number and choices will keep this problem from occurring as well.
These three steps are all intertwined, and that’s because becoming a smart drinker is actually fairly easy. You just need to be mindful of consequences before you decide what you are doing. Drinking can be a fun pastime, but you shouldn’t abuse it. That just leads to sorrow for someone down the line.