Keeping yourself safer

Your health and safety are important. You don’t want to end your evening in A&E or by losing your money and not being able to get home. The more alcohol you drink, the less aware you will be of risks to your personal safety.

You can reduce these risks by drinking within your limits and by keeping aware of what is going on around you.

Avoiding violence

Young men are at much higher risk of being beaten up or mugged when they have been drinking, particularly by other young men who have been drinking too.

If you have drunk a large amount of alcohol and you aren’t feeling as alert as usual, you may not even notice you’re in danger until it’s too late to get away.

  • Avoid people who are behaving in an aggressive way. Walk away as soon as things start to get rowdy or feel unsafe.
  • Avoid walking home alone, or through places that are dark or isolated.
  • If you use your mobile phone or listen to your MP3 player while walking, you may be putting yourself in more danger. You won’t hear someone approaching you, especially if they come from behind, and you may be advertising that you have something worth stealing.
  • If you know that you become more aggressive when you drink, keep within your limits and avoid situations where there is trouble.

Traffic Accidents

Driving when you have been drinking alcohol is never a good idea. Any amount of alcohol will affect your reaction time and your ability to make good judgements and you may end up killing someone or injuring them.

Don’t drive if you’ve been drinking and never get into a car with someone else who has been drinking. If they have an accident, you could be seriously hurt.

You should also remember that many pedestrians who are injured or killed in road accidents have also been drinking alcohol. Crossing roads safely also requires quick reactions and making good judgements.

  • Think ahead at the beginning of the evening and plan how you will get home safely. If someone is driving, make sure they agree not to drink.
  • Alternatively you could arrange to get a taxi but make sure that you put aside enough money to pay the fare.

Safety in numbers

If you stay with your friends you will usually be much safer. You will be able to look out for each other and you’re more likely to spot risky situations.

  • If you do leave earlier than planned, make sure your friends know that you are going and who you are with. They may spend time looking for you or worrying about you if they don’t know where you are.

Keeping your drink from being spiked

Both men and women can have their drinks spiked and most substances don’t mix well with alcohol.

The most likely substance to be added to your drink is more alcohol but you can reduce the risk of having anything added by sticking to the following rules

  • Don’t share or swap drinks with anyone you don’t know
  • Don’t leave your drink unattended
  • If you feel very drunk or unwell in a way that you don’t expect, tell a friend and ask them to help you get home safely.

Looking after important items

Make sure that you keep your belongings safe, especially things like your money, keys, phone etc. Losing these things may mean you can’t get home, or if you get there you can’t get in. It may also mean other people have access to your money by using your bank cards

  • Keep items like your wallet, purse, keys etc on your person. Never leave them unattended on a table or bar.
  • Keep bags fastened.
  • Don’t wave your money around and attract attention to how much you are carrying.
  • Keep your mobile phone out of sight while it is not being used.

If you feel safer, you can be more relaxed and enjoy yourself even more.

Additional information