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New Year’s Eve is a fun night to celebrate and reminisce the year that was and to welcome the brand new year. Many people look at it as a fresh start — a time to make resolutions and changes to help ensure a prosperous and happy year to come.

As the year draws to a close, you may have already begun planning your New Year’s Eve celebration. Whether you will be hosting or attending a New Year’s party, making your way to a public celebration, or staying in with family and friends, here are a few tips to help you and your guests stay safe this New Year’s Eve.

Hosting a party at home

On New Year’s Eve, you don’t have to leave your house to have a great time. If you’re hosting guests, here are some ways to ensure everyone can kick off the new year in style:

  • Consider your liquor liability. There’s nothing like ringing in the new year with a glass of champagne. But if you plan to serve alcohol, be a responsible host by making sure nobody gets behind the wheel of a car. Drunk driving is a serious risk to your guests and others on the road. And in many states, you could be held liable for damage caused by a driver who leaves your party.

  • Plan your activities. To keep your party running smoothly, have a list of games or activities that don’t involve alcohol. Playing games can be a great way to break the ice and are fun for guests of all ages.

  • Serve plenty of food. If you’re staying up until midnight, expect lots of snacking to take place throughout the evening. A well-stocked menu of food and non-alcoholic drinks will not only keep your guests happy, it can also help counter the effects of the alcohol.

  • Keep your guest list tight. When hosting a party in your home, it’s always a good idea to limit guests to people you actually know. Strangers may be less likely to respect your property, and it will be more difficult to confront them if they overindulge.

  • Designate a driver. Encourage your guests to choose a designated driver before they arrive. Whether a friend is driving, or they choose to use Uber, advanced planning will ensure no one decides to get behind the wheel.

  • Shelve the fireworks. Avoid the temptation to start the new year off with a “bang.” Fireworks can lead to house fires and injuries – and they never mix well with alcohol.


Attending a party 

If you plan on taking a night off from hosting duties and will be attending a party or event, here are some tips to help you ring in 2014 safely:

  • Designate a driver. If you’re planning to celebrate with alcohol, decide how you’ll be getting home before your first drink. There are plenty of ways to find a designated driver, whether you call a cab, use a ridesharing service or choose a friend to take you home.

  • Celebrate with friends. There’s safety in numbers. If you’re partying with friends, have a conversation about looking out for each other before the night begins.

  • Charge your phone. Before you head out for a night on the town, make sure your phone is fully charged. Getting stuck with a dead battery will make it difficult to reconnect with friends or hail a ride home, if needed.

  • Eat before you leave. Not planning to go out for a full meal? Be sure to eat before you leave. Besides ensuring you won’t go hungry, a full stomach can help slow the absorption of alcohol.

  • Don’t leave your car overnight. If you’re not driving home, it’s probably wise to leave your car in the driveway – and don’t forget to lock the doors. Unfortunately, criminals don’t take a holiday. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, New Year’s Day is the top holiday for car thefts! 

Whether going out or staying in, ringing in the new year is a fun tradition. Use these tips to keep the party, you and your guests you safe.

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