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On The Road

Arrive Alive This Holiday Season

Here's what you should do instead of getting behind the wheel after a few holiday cocktails.

by Team Onlia

As the holiday draws near, the festivities amp up and those drinks start flowing. What better way to get into the holiday spirit, than with a spirit?

It’s not something you always want to think about when you’re getting ready for an evening out, but it’s important to plan ahead and think about whether you have a plan for getting home after the party winds down.

We all know how dangerous drinking and driving can be. DUI’s can seriously impact the way you live, and the safety risk is immeasurable. The best way to avoid making a big mistake is to plan ahead to ensure holiday road safety. 

Here’s how you can do that. 

Whip up some mocktails

There’s no rule that says you need to indulge in a few cocktails to enjoy yourself. Many people are bucking the notion that drinking has to determine the level of fun and enjoyment they have.

By offering interesting, non-alcoholic beverages — aside from water or pop —  you can offer your designated driver guests an option that's just as fun as indulging in alcoholic drinks. 

If you like whipping up your own drinks, you can wow your guests with a holiday pomegranate mojito, a festive Christmas lights mocktail, or a refreshing cranberry apple cider punch.  

Short on time? Pick up some non-alcoholic wine or try a brand like Seedlip for distilled non-alcoholic spirits.

Book a taxi or rideshare

Services like Uber and Lyft make it so easy to get a ride, that no one has an excuse to drive while impaired this holiday season. Make sure your phone is fully charged, so you can hail a ride at the tap of a finger. 

Keep the following safety tips in mind when using a ride-sharing service:

  • Order your ride from inside the house or restaurant: This limits the chances of someone noticing you waiting for a ride and impersonating your driver

  • Check the plates: Verify that the car’s plates match the licence given to you on the app

  • Wait for the driver to say your name before getting in: Don’t say your name first. Let the driver confirm to ensure they’re actually working for the ride-sharing service.

  • Share your ride status: Use the Share Ride feature to allow a friend or family member to track your ride, access the driver’s details, and ensure you arrive safely to your destination.

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Book a pickup of yourself (and your vehicle)

Mocktails not your thing? No worries   just make sure you’ve got a ride lined up for later. Even if you plan to keep the drinks to a minimum, it’s good to have a plan in place just in case.  

If you’re worried about the surge pricing for services like Uber, it’s good to note that there are several designated driving programs that offer reduced rates, and will even get your car home if you drove to the event.

With Ontario Designated Drivers, you can book a time and pick up location, go to your party and have a fantastic time, and when it’s time to go home for the night, two designated drivers show up — one to drive you home, and another to follow behind in your car. There are several other organizations that offer a similar service including Designated Drivers Against Drinking DriversDriver Seat, and Operation Red Nose.

And, keep in mind that some transit operators like the TTC and Peterborough Transit will offer free transit on New Year’s Eve this year.

Consider turning the cocktail party into a slumber party

Do you know the host well enough? Would you rather forget about the hassle of getting home? Ask your host if you can stay the night. Extending the party can be a fun  and safe  option for everyone. 

Whether you prefer relying on a trusted friend, a trusty ride-sharing app, or your sister’s couch, be sure to create a plan in advance so your holidays remain fun, festive, and safe!

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