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Tis the season to be tipsy… How to avoid drink driving

2020 has been quite the year. If anything, we’re all well overdue for some stress-busting drinking sessions… except, how does one get around that tricky issue of drinking and driving?

Driving while under the influence – anything more than 80 microgrammes (µg) per 100ml of blood, or 0.08%) blood alcohol content – faces some hefty penalties. The first offence faces no less than a $2,000 fine and imprisonment of up to 12 months, or both. If you’re caught more than once, the fine jumps to no less than $5,000 and imprisonment of up to two years, or both.

This evidence alone should be all the persuasion you need to ensure you’re not drink driving. Aside from appointing designated drivers, not drinking at all, or relying on getting a Grab back home, here are some creative ways to still get your drink on this festive season but not stress about being pulled over.

Arrive in style, leave in style

You’ve got a brand new car and you want to show up in it. This means not having more than one drink, if at all. If leaving the car overnight (just think of the parking charges) is a no-go, the only other option is to hire the services of a professional car valet. Download the Motorist app where one of the key features is the Road & Valet Assistance. Just let them know where you are and they’ll give you a call-back within 5 minutes to send a car valet your way. Charges start from $38 per trip, with $10 for every additional stop, if you’re carpooling with friends to off-set the cost.

Have a virtual year-end office social that’s not Zoom

Zoom fatigue is real. Months on, we’re really over seeing everyone in those little squares. Still, if there’s a year that deserves a big year-end party, it’s 2020. Take your party online to a platform that’s a bit more fun. Think of Run The World as the fun cousin to Zoom with personalised features like the option to take group selfies, conduct fun polls, and a cocktail party function that allows individuals to randomly meet for 5-minute conversations so there’s the opportunity to indulge in a bit of flirting fun.

| See also: Christmas dinner in Singapore for every budget |

Opt for low ABV beverages

Just because you’ve opted to drive doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a proper drink. These days, mocktails and low ABV beverages are as complex and elaborate as any cocktail. Look for drinks made with Seedlip (think of it like a non-alcoholic gin spirit that’s clean and fresh to the palate), tipples made with flavourful herbal tinctures, speciality syrups (elderflower is commonly available), or handcrafted sodas that are all the rage these days. Pro tip: Every bartender has a few good mocktail recipes (that’s not a Shirley Temple) ready to be shaken up, you just have to ask.

Throw a home cocktail bar crawl

Here’s an idea, instead of heading out in groups of five to bar hop, why not organise an at-home cocktail bar crawl? You could do the drinks yourself if you’ve got all the equipment handy, order them ready-made from Sunday Punch, or get your favourite cocktail bars to deliver a holiday pack of drinks – Junior The Pocket Bar has a festive pack of 6 drinks for $188, including their trademark egg nog, a drink best left to the professionals to pull off. This way you don’t have to call it a night by 10.30pm and if you’ve got a comfy sofa, friends can stay over and avoid having to drive home tipsy.

Join a virtual wine club

If wine is your thing and you’re tired of calling a Grab after each tasting, then a membership to Vivant may be the best Christmas present to gift yourself. Starting at US$149.99 (S$199.20), the live streaming wine experience platform offers weekly tastings through curated Experience Kits that are hosted by expert wine advisors. For now, they’ve launched with three French wine regions: Bordeaux, Burgundy, and the Loire, with Alsace and Champagne being added before the end of the year. Best of all you get to enjoy your wine in the comfort of your own home.

Commit to exercise in the morning

No matter how fit you are, exercising with a hangover is no fun, nor recommended. While you can joke that you’re sweating out the booze, what you’re doing is dehydrating the body further and putting yourself at a higher risk for muscle strains, cramps and muscle pulls. In short, the discomfort you feel will be a deterrent to not drink in excess the next time you’re out.

| Related: 5 reasons why you need personal accident insurance |

Strategise your drinking

Like it or not alcohol affects everyone differently, while it’s safer to just abstain than run afoul of the cops if you are having a drink make sure it’s at least 90 minutes before you sit behind the wheel. It’s also recommended to hydrate well to ensure your blood alcohol level is well below the 80 microgrammes (µg) per 100ml of blood (or 0.08%) blood alcohol content. As a gauge, you should not have more than 25ml of spirits, 150ml of beer of 76ml (half a glass) of wine if you’re intending to drive home at the end of the night.

Buy a breathalyzer

These days you can buy anything online – so why not buy a breathalyzer so this way you can test yourself, and others, before getting behind the wheel of a car. There are various models to purchase but this one we found on Lazada claims to be as accurate as police issued breathalyzers and show results in 3 seconds. If this is a bit too pricey, this below $50 model sold on Amazon Singapore is a steal, plus it has replaceable mouthpieces so you can test friends easily.

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