A doctor at the University of Kansas Health System in Kansas City, Kansas, has some advice on handling alcohol on New Year’s Eve.
Dr. Michael Salacz, a neuro-oncologist, is warning people that any alcohol will lead to some impairment during the evening, but combining it with the fatigue of staying up past midnight may significantly multiply its effect.
Under no circumstances should anyone drink and drive, he said.
While there are guidelines online for the amount of alcohol one can drink according to weight, any amount of alcohol can cause impairment – it’s just a matter of degree, he added.
To reduce the effect of alcohol on the body, drink glasses of water between alcoholic drinks. That reduces but not eliminates the effect of alcohol, he noted.
“Drink water early, often and all the way through, and that’s the best chance for minimizing the hangover the next day,” he said.
If you wake up Jan. 1 feeling you overdid it, then the doctor prescribes the same remedy: Drink plenty of water to rehydrate your body.
If you’re drinking, get a ride
Throughout Kansas City, Kansas, and the metropolitan area, there are New Year’s Eve parties being held at restaurants, bars and establishments. Many places, such as Lounge 42 at 42nd and Leavenworth Road, or Dave and Buster’s at The Legends Outlets, are holding New Year’s Eve parties. Call first to find out if your favorite place has a party, what the hours are, whether reservations are needed and whether there is a cover charge.
If you have no sober designated driver, you can call a taxi, an Uber or Lyft ride. Or you can take the bus, which is free on New Year’s Eve.
RideKC is offering free rides after 4 p.m. on New Year’s Eve to help riders get home safely, according to a news release.
Fares on all RideKC bus routes serving Kansas City, Johnson County, Wyandotte County and Independence will be free from 4 p.m. to service ends after midnight. KCATA and Johnson County paratransit will also be free to ride after 4 p.m. The 510 and Micro Transit are not included.
RideKC will use a Sunday-Holiday schedule on New Year’s Day.
Riders can plan a trip at www.ridekc.org, using the trip planner on the home page. Be sure to look up the time that bus service will end.
New Year’s is one of the most deadly holidays for traffic fatalities, AAA says
AAA Kansas is reminding drivers and passengers to beware of the dangers on the roads this New Year’s holiday.
It is one of the year’s deadliest days for alcohol-related traffic fatalities, according to AAA Kansas. In 2018, there were 10,511 people who died in drunken-driving crashes nationwide, national statistics showed.
During the Christmas and New Year’s periods in 2018, there were 285 drunken-driving related fatalities nationally, according to national statistics.
AAA Kansas also cited Kansas statistics that showed 25 to 30 percent of the 400 people who die on roadways each year are killed because of impaired driving.
From 250 to 300 drivers across Kansas are expected to be arrested for DUIs during the week after Christmas, according to AAA Kansas.
AAA Kansas offered these tips:
• Always plan ahead to designate a non-drinking driver before any party or celebration begins.
• Never get behind the wheel of a car when you’ve been drinking alcohol – even after just one drink.
• Never ride as a passenger in a car driven by someone who has been drinking alcohol – even after just one drink.
• Do not hesitate to take the keys from friends or family members who may be impaired.
• Put numbers for local cab or ride-sharing companies in your phone before heading out for the evening.
• Be a responsible host in reminding guests to stay safe and always offer alcohol-free beverages.
• If you encounter an impaired driver on the road, keep a safe distance and ask a passenger to call 911 (or pull over to a safe location to make the call yourself).
• Remember: prescription, over-the-counter medications and illegal drugs also can impair your ability to drive safely.
Avoid firing guns
In addition to warnings against drinking and driving, residents also are being asked this year by the Kansas City, Kansas, Police Department to refrain from firing guns at midnight to celebrate the new year.
The department noted in a social media post that what goes up must come down, and urged residents to call 913-596-3000 to report those who are shooting.