Walking drunk is one of the biggest New Year's Eve risks, experts say

What not to do this New Year's Eve: drunk-walk. Sure, maybe you've passed over the car keys, but according to experts, drinking and walking is as dangerous as getting behind a wheel.

"Alcohol impairs your physical ability, period," says trauma surgeon Dr Thomas Esposito at Loyola University in the US. "Every movement ranging from driving a car to simply walking to the bathroom is compromised."

In 2005, the journal ‘Injury Prevention’ reported that New Year's Day is more deadly for pedestrians than any other day of the year.

"It's not just walking outside," adds Esposito. "We often see people who have been drinking that have fallen down the stairs or tripped at home and injured themselves."

If you drink and plan to walk on New Year's Eve, or any other day of the year, don't wear dark clothing that can make it difficult for drivers to see you, he advises.

"It's a good idea to walk in a group, which is easier for drivers to spot, and try to walk with at least one person who has not been drinking, a designated chaperone or escort," Esposito says.

If you are hosting a party, he adds, offer up a pillow to your guests if necessary, and if you're sending them up or down stairs, be sure to give them a hand.

What is a safe level of drinking this holiday? The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) cites that for most adults, drinking up to two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women causes few if any problems.

Other experts advise, for special occasions, to drink no more than one alcoholic beverage per hour, alternating with water, soda, or juice, and never on an empty stomach.



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