East, drink and be merry - but be safe!

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THE FESTIVE party season in full swing and Tayside Police hopes that revellers enjoy their seasonal celebrations in high spirits - but also safely.

People can often drink more than they realise. There is nothing wrong with having a few drinks and a good time, but when so much drink is taken that people lose control of their actions personal safety is at risk.

Police ask people to plan their nights out, ensure that they have organised their trip home and look out for friends and colleagues.

A spokeswoman said: “Officers frequently have to assist people who have had too much drink, become separated from their friends, or are disorientated.”

Past experiences has shown there is usually an increase in incidents of drink-fuelled antisocial behaviour and violence, both in public places and in the home during the festive period. In many instances those in terms of theft and personal injury are directly attributable to alcohol consumption.

Problems can arise because people drink more at this time of the year than normal. While alcohol may be a significant contributory factor to anti-social or violent behaviour, it is not an excuse.

Here are a few things people should bear in mind to prevent their good night out being ruined.

• Have something to eat before you go out. Drinking on an empty stomach causes the alcohol to enter your bloodstream more quickly, meaning you become drunk faster having had less to drink. Have a couple of soft drinks or some water during the evening; you will feel better, especially in the morning.

• Plan how you’re getting home. Before you leave the house, arrange to book a taxi home from your night out. Enter a couple of taxi firm’s numbers into your mobile just in case.

• Take your mobile; make sure it is charged, with credit.

• Make sure someone knows where you are going and who you are with.

• Consider what to take with you. Do you need to carry a large amount of cash and all your bank and credit cards? Just make sure you have enough for a taxi home. Keep that separate from your other money.

• Stay together. In the pub or club one of your group should stay at the table to keep an eye on drinks and bags while the others are dancing or at the toilet. Never leave bags or drinks unattended. Be very careful before accepting a drink from a stranger and if your drink looks or tastes any different leave it and get another one.

• At the end of the night, travel home with a friend or in a group. If you have to walk, stick to well-lit main roads and never accept a lift from a stranger. Stay alert and be aware of what is going on around you and avoid confrontation. If there is trouble, walk away.

Remember, a few drinks can lead you to take risks that you wouldn’t normally – try to stick to your limits and stay in control.

Everyone at Tayside Police hopes you have a great time and wishes you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.