Sat | Dec 15, 2018

A Drink Right summer guide

Published:Monday | July 16, 2018 | 12:00 AM

With the summer party season intensifying and major festivals such as Reggae Sumfest just around the corner, advocates for responsible drinking are again reminding consumers and partygoers to drink right.

Red Stripe, through its multilayered Drink Right campaign, is sharing a summer guide to responsible consumption. "Our responsible drinking campaign is very robust and has different approaches to encourage behaviour change, which is really what's required," noted Tyheissa Williams, Red Stripe's communication and sustainability executive. "We consistently push the Drink Right campaign, urging consumers to pledge to consume alcohol at the right age, the right way and in the right amounts." Williams also stressed that there is a specific focus on preventing underage drinking and the promotion of a designated driver.

To help guide your decisions, here are some tips that you may find useful as you attend your favourite parties or embark on that summer adventure.

- Never drink and drive

Not only is alcohol-impaired driving dangerous for all road users, it is also illegal. According to the National Road Safety Council (NRSC), it is illegal to have a breath alcohol concentration level higher than 35 microgrammes (mcg) of alcohol in 100 millilitre (ml) of breath. "This is why we say you should never drink and drive," said SSP Allen. As the NRSC advocates, it takes CASH. 'C' is for choices because we all have to make crucial choices whenever we drive. 'A' is for avoiding alcohol to ensure that the driver is alert and fully focused on the road. 'S' and 'H' stand for seat belt and helmet, respectively, which must always be worn to ensure safety.

- Eat before you drink

Before consuming alcohol beverages at your party, ensure that you have a meal. This will help to slow down the absorption process of alcohol into the bloodstream, which will delay the time it takes for you to feel the effects. You may have to budget extra time in your 'getting ready' routine to have a hearty meal but it will be well worth it when you're having fun with your friends.

- Space your alcohol beverages

It is easy to drink alcohol mixes one after the other at any social event. However, be sure to drink water between alcohol beverages. This will keep you hydrated and help to prevent you from getting intoxicated too quickly. "Our Drink Right ambassadors will help to remind you at Red Stripe events by distributing complimentary bottled water during designated 'water breaks'," offered Williams.

- Know your limit

Most of us would rather spend time enjoying the vibe than tend to a disorderly friend who has had too much to drink. That is why it is important to keep track of your alcohol intake so you know when you have had enough. Everyone in your group may need to keep tabs on each other to ensure that no one passes their limit.

- Always travel with legitimate transport operators

Whether it is public transportation or a private taxi company, always travel with a registered taxi driver. "We cannot emphasise this enough," stressed SSP Allen. "Avoid illegal taxis because they do not have insurance that covers the passenger in the event the passenger is injured during a collision. Also, it is important that you carefully evaluate the taxi drivers that come to pick you up because there are cases where female passengers, especially, have been abducted and harmed. Make an effort to take the extra precautions as this will enhance your safety in the long run. These are some of the guidelines that will help to ensure that you stay safe on the roads and enjoy the summer's entertainment offerings." Williams noted, "We want persons to live their best lives by enjoying their summer to the fullest and give themselves the opportunity to create more fond memories for years to come."