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We all enjoy a tipple and if you’re heading out for some drinks make sure you’ve put a few plans in place to have a fun and safe night out!

Alcohol Harm Reduction Week is coming up from September 16 to 22  so we have a few simple tips to make sure your great night out doesn’t end up in tears!

When you’re drinking, your ability to gauge the safety of a situation and to take appropriate action is going to be reduced.

The best way to have a great time and to keep safe is to plan ahead so spare a minute to read these tips and then go party!

•Before going out, know how you’re getting home and make arrangements in advance such as booking a licensed taxi or a lift.

•Know where you’re going, and if possible make sure someone else knows where you’re going too.

•Make sure your mobile is charged and has credit. Do you have a licensed taxi number stored in your phone?

•Have two ICE numbers (In Case of Emergency) stored in your contacts in case you can’t or somebody else can’t contact the first.

•Remember to keep enough cash for your journey home and keep your keys separate from your bag.

•Learn to recognise the signs that it’s time to slow down and try alternating between alcoholic and soft drinks. Remember to avoid drinking in rounds as it’s easy to lose control of how much you’ve had to drink when you’re keeping up with others.

•Don’t leave your drink unattended and try to keep it covered if possible to prevent spiking.

•Walk away from confrontation as one drunken argument could change your life.

•Have fun but don’t let being too drunk ruin it for you!

Drinking affects your judgement, and it’s easy to end up doing something stupid. If a friend is getting into an awkward situation – arguing with a bouncer, getting chatted up by a lecherous predator, be ready to step in and get them out of it.

If you’re in a big group, it’s sometimes hard to tell who’as drunk too much until it’s too late. But if your friend seems unsteady on their feet, or they’re slurring their words or acting erratically, they’ve had one too many. Try to get them to have some water or a soft drink, or take them outside to get a breath of fresh air. Most importantly, don’t leave them alone.

Plan your travel ahead of your night out…

By taxi

•Always use a licensed taxi or minicab.

•Taxis (Hackney Carriages) can be hailed in the street. They look like purpose–built taxis or black cabs and have an illuminated taxi sign on the roof.  The driver should carry PCC ID.

•Licensed minicabs can’t be hailed in the street. They must be pre-booked. The driver should have ID and the vehicle will have some sort of license displayed on it.

•Always carry the telephone number of a trusted, licensed company with you.

•When booking a taxi or minicab, ask for the driver’s name, as well as the make and colour of the car. Confirm the driver’s details when they arrive – is it the taxi or minicab you ordered?

•Sharing a taxi or minicab with a friend and sitting in the back of the car are good safety strategies.

Night bus or train

•Know where you’re going and which stop you need. Check departure times, especially of last buses.

•Wait for a bus or train in a well-lit place near other people whenever possible.

•Carry extra money in case you get stranded and need to take another bus, train or cab.

•Try hard not to fall asleep on public transport – it makes you vulnerable to theft or assault and you could end up stranded miles from home.


•Make choices that ensure you’re always aware of your surroundings, such as not taking short cuts and not walking along the street wearing headphones or talking on your mobile phone; a mobile phone is a good idea in case of emergencies, but keep it concealed and only use it when you have to. Walk through busy areas where you can be clearly seen.

•Think about carrying a personal alarm with you, which can be used to disorientate and shock an attacker.

•Always act on your instincts – if something looks or feels wrong it probably is, so don’t wait for your fears to be confirmed, get away from the situation as quickly as possible.

Useful numbers…

Police non emergencies: 101

NHS direct: 08457 46 47

City health clinic: 01733 466601


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