'Tis the season to be jolly - but not drunk!

Alcohol distributor group reminds Hoosiers to serve responsibly

INDIANAPOLIS - December ushers in a month of merriment and also a time to reflect on the laws which protect consumers. Seventy-five years ago, on Dec. 5, a final majority of states ratified the 21st amendment to do away with Prohibition. To that end, the Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of Indiana (WSWI) advocates an alcohol distribution system that maintains public safety, consumer protection and consumer choice. As you raise a glass this holiday season to toast the future, WSWI reminds Hoosiers to be safe and offers these 10 tips from the ServSafe Alcohol training program for hosting a responsible holiday party:

  1. Avoid self-service of alcohol. Consider hiring a professional bartender who can help monitor guest consumption.
  2. Offer nonalcoholic beverages as an alternative.
  3. Offer food. Limit salty foods such as peanuts, pretzels and chips that make guests thirsty and may increase their consumption. Foods high in fat and/or protein help keep alcohol in the stomach, slowing the rate alcohol enters the bloodstream.
  4. Avoid over-pouring drinks. This can help monitor guests' Blood Alcohol Content (BAC).
  5. Avoid serving guests more than one drink at a time. This will help pace consumption. It takes one hour for the body to process one standard drink. (A standard drink is 1.5 oz. of 80-proof liquor, 12 oz. of beer or 5 oz. of wine.)
  6. If you don't know the age of a guest, check identification. Don't allow friends or parents to provide alcohol to minor guests. Monitoring legal consumption will help communicate that you take responsible drinking seriously.
  7. Observe guests for signs of intoxication, such as relaxed inhibitions, impaired judgment, slowed reaction time, impaired motor coordination.
  8. If a guest becomes impaired, wait until the guest orders another drink before stopping service. (Sometimes a guest may decide on their own that their current drink is the last.)
  9. Stop serving alcohol beverages an hour before the party ends.
  10. Ensure an intoxicated guest gets home safely. Arrange alternate transportation - call a cab, ask a companion who is not intoxicated to drive, or call the guest's friend or relative.

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The Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of Indiana (WSWI) is a not-for-profit trade association representing the state's leading alcohol distributors, including Olinger and National Wine and Spirits. The organization supports Indiana's legitimate interest in regulating alcohol distribution to maintain public safety, consumer protection and consumer choice. The mission of WSWI is to maintain Indiana's three-tier distribution system as an effective means for advancing this interest.

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