The basic choice is, of course, to drink or not to drink. Not drinking is always a low-risk choice. But if you do choose to use alcohol, here are some tips to keep your risk of impairment as low as possible.
- Eat before you drink. The food will help soften the blow by absorbing some of the alcohol.
- Don't try to quench your thirst with alcoholic drinks; this only makes you thirstier. Plain old water is best when you're really thirsty.
- Sip, don't gulp. If you're male, you'll look cool. If you're a woman, you'll look refined. And no matter who you are, you'll probably feel better the next morning.
- Choose drinks with food-based mixers such as vegetable and fruit juices, which lower the risk of impairment; water or carbonated mixers increase impairment. Also choose drinks with low alcohol content.
- Limit your drinking. No more than two drinks per day if you're a man, one if you're a woman. Don't drink every day, not more than four days in any week.
- Don't "panic drink." In other words, slow the rate at which you put away the alcohol. It's not a race. Try to limit yourself to one drink per hour.
- Give yourself a break; alternate booze with non-alcoholic beverages.
- Be strong and don't give in to those immature jerks who use "peer pressure" to get you to drink more than you want.
- Get involved in activities that don't include alcohol.