FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Holiday parties can be a great time to enjoy the company of Family and friends, but it can also be a time for dangerous overindulgence.

The Army Substance Abuse Program seeks to inform the community of the dangers that come with intoxicated driving with a reception recognizing National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month, also known as 3D Month. The reception's theme is "Have a Buzzed-Free Holiday: Designate Before You Celebrate," and it will be held at ASAP Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

"We endeavor to promote a safe holiday season to those entertaining and hosting parties as well as those attending. ASAP will provide a mocktails [nonalcoholic cocktails] tasting to give guests ideas on beverages they can serve guests and Family to keep them safe during the holiday season," said Denise Clarke, ASAP risk reduction program coordinator.

ASAP coordinated the event as a fun way to encourage safe behavior and give the Fort Rucker community plenty of tips for a sober holiday season.

"We understand that the holidays are a festive time for Family and friends to get together. During the Christmas Exodus, many will either host or attend holiday parties. So we decided, why not throw our own party and give the community an opportunity to taste nonalcoholic drinks that are not boring and can be added to their holiday party menu," said Clarke.

Along with a selection of appetizers, some of the nonalcoholic drinks offered include mock champagne, mojitos, appletinis and margaritas.

"According to the Centers for Disease Control, nearly 30 people in the U.S. die every day in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver. This amounts to one death every 48 minutes. ASAP encourages sober driving because it only takes one time to get behind the wheel while intoxicated to destroy a life, a Family and a Soldier or civilian's career," Clarke said.

For those who cannot attend the event, Clarke provided a few tips that can help contribute to a safer holiday season.

"When hosting a party, make sure to offer guests nonalcoholic drinks. Have a cut off time for serving alcohol, and above all, don't make alcohol the main focus. If you are attending a party where there will be alcoholic beverages, designate a driver in advance, make plans to stay overnight, walk to the party or bring your own batch of mocktails. [Safety] begins with the right mind set," she said.

"We invite everyone to come out to our holiday open house and see our expanded facility, while getting a taste of the holidays. ASAP wishes Fort Rucker a joyous holiday. The only way to be absolutely sure to have a safe, buzzed-free holiday is to remember if you drink, don't drive, and if you drive, don't drink," said Clarke.

For more information on ASAP, call 255-7509.

Page last updated Thu December 15th, 2011 at 14:30