Enjoy The Festive Season Without Regrets

Published: Tue 25 Nov 2008 02:53 PM
Enjoy The Festive Season Without Regrets
The Alcohol Advisory Council (ALAC) is urging New Zealanders not to let alcohol ruin their holiday season.
``As we head into the festive season, it is timely to think of the consequences for us as individuals, families, communities and the country as a whole when we take drinking too far,’’ says ALAC Chief Executive Officer Gerard Vaughan.
``The greatest problems occur when people get drunk. It’s then that the accidents, fights, problems with relationships and domestic violence increase. It’s also the little things that affect families such as being too hung over to participate in family events.’’
Mr Vaughan says employers hosting staff parties should set their expectations in advance. ``As the employer you set the tone for a staff party. Be up-front and tell your staff what you expect of them.
``As the employer you’re the host. You should implement host responsibility provisions and ensure the function doesn’t get out of hand. Really watch out for the younger staff, particularly those under 18, and check how the law applies if you’re the host or taking them out to a licensed premise.
``Don’t keep serving people who are getting intoxicated. Brief your waiters if it’s an in-house party. If it’s on a licensed premise, it shouldn’t happen anyway because it’s illegal to serve people who are intoxicated. Arrange for taxis to take people home. And model good behaviour yourself.’’
Mr Vaughan says if you are hosting a party at home be responsible. “Serve more interesting non-alcoholic drinks than just orange juice. It’s surprising how people will really enjoy something like a grapefruit and tonic with chunks of mint in it for a change. If you are serving alcohol, make sure there is substantial food available.
``If you are hosting a party for young people, especially for those aged under 18, make sure you supervise the party carefully. While it is legal to supply alcohol to young people at private parties, this places a responsibility on adults to supervise the young people.’’
Mr Vaughan says there are simple tips for those hosting parties at home or at work on the ALAC website at Enjoying Summer Celebrations.
If you’re worried about your drinking or the drinking of someone you care about call the Alcohol Drug Helpline on 0800 787 797 for confidential advice.
``Christmas is a time for celebration – not a time for regrets over parties or events that got out of control and resulted in accidents, family break-ups or in the case of staff parties complaints, embarrassment or losing your job.’’

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