Getting home safely

If partying was broken down into mathematical proportions, the chances are it would go something like this:

  • Time spent getting ready, sussing out who’s going, and double-checking there’s nowhere better you should be – 60%.
  • Time spent at the party – 35%.
  • Time spent working out how to get home – 5% max.

But really, that needs to be turned around. Because no matter how much effort you put into the preparation, how good a time you have there, and how many likes your posts get, it can all go very wrong if you haven’t worked out how to get home safely.

Safe partying is a thing. Rather than a contradiction in terms, it means making sure you stay safe at an event and on the trip home, so you and your friends can go out again next weekend – as opposed to being in hospital, in court, or in serious trouble at home.

You need to have worked out a plan to get home – before things start getting messy.

Let’s talk maths again.

It’s significant that more than 30% of fatal drink driving crashes happen between 9 pm and 3 am on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. During this time your chances of being in a fatal crash involving alcohol are greater than any other time of the week.

Simple steps can reduce your risk and the key is planning ahead. Most importantly, make your preparations for the end of night, at the very beginning.

Leave the car at home and don’t rely on driving home with friends unless you are sure someone has 100% agreed to be the designated driver for the group and you can rely on them to stick to soft drinks.

Make sure you have the numbers of a couple of taxi companies listed in the contacts, or have downloaded a ride-sharing app with up-to-date payment details before you head out for the night. Public transport is another option, but take into account different timetables for weekends and late at night.

If you do use your car to get to a party, then realise you’ve had too much to drink, don’t risk it. Leave your car there and come back for it the next day, or call one of the dial-a-driver- type services who will drive both you and your car home.

If you’re hosting a party, think about setting up a few extra beds so people can crash for the night.  Your friends are your best ally on a big night. Surround yourself with people you trust, who will make sure you’re ok at the party and get home safely – and vice versa.

Takeaway tips

  • The most at-risk times for being involved in a drink driving related crash are directly connected to the most social times of the week – Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights
  • Planning ahead is the key to reducing your risk. Organise options for how you’ll get home before you even leave for the night.
  • If drinking alcohol or taking drugs are part of your plan, leave your car at home
  • Take a taxi or rideshare
  • Use public transport
  • Travel as a group with a designated driver pledging to stay sober
  • Hang out with people you trust and can rely on to leave the party if things get out of hand, and to make sure everyone gets home safely.