Having a Safe New Year's Eve in the Big Apple

With New Year’s Eve celebrations approaching, the Health Department reminds New Yorkers to take care of themselves and others. Alcohol-related emergency room visits more than double on New Year’s Day early mornings, according to the NYC Health Department, which monitors all New York City emergency rooms. Peak hours for treatment of intoxicants (drunken celebrants) are between 1:00 and 4:00 a.m.

The Health Department offers the following tips for holiday revelers to reduce their risk of alcohol-related emergency department visits:

  • If your New Year’s celebration includes alcohol, be conscious of how much you drink. It’s better to have one fewer drink than one too many.
  • Eat dinner before you begin celebrating and enjoy snacks throughout the evening.
  • Avoid caffeine and energy drinks, which can mask the effects of alcohol and lead to overdoing it.
  • You should know which – if any – medications you take that don’t mix well with alcohol. Avoid alcohol if you take opioid analgesics or benzodiazepines. Mixing them with alcohol increases your risk of an overdose.

Alcohol and New Year’s Driving

On New Year’s Day (after midnight, when the partying is over and everyone heads home) half of all fatal car crashes involve a drunk driver with a blood-alcohol content (BAC) of at least 0.08, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. It’s also the second-most hazardous time for pedestrians (after Halloween), according to the IIHS. Here are a few tips for party hosts (and guests) to improve the odds that your drive home will be uneventful.

  • Pace yourself and work in some non-alcoholic beverages to stay hydrated.
  • Drink alcohol with trusted friends or family who can help if you’ve had too much.
  • Eat hearty at the party; it soaks up the alcohol.
  • For those who’ve had too much to drink – anywhere – cabs and most rideshare companies offer discounted rates to get home. So do a little research beforehand to determine the best deals.

Heading to NYC to Watch the Ball Drop in Times Square?

There’s really nothing like being with a million people to ring in the New Year. But for out-of-towners, here are a few suggestions to help you enjoy your visit.

Look for an affordable, nice, out-of-the-way hotel. That way you can avoid the crowds until you’re ready to join them. U.S. News & World Report’s list of New York City hotels outside of Manhattan focuses on Brooklyn, Queens, and Long Island City hotels, all a short subway ride from Times Square but with plenty of amenities, interesting destinations and good restaurants nearby.

Learn where the desirable dining venues, good nightclubs, bars and hotel lounges are throughout Manhattan if you’re not interested in standing in one cold outdoor place to watch the Times Square ball drop. The concierge at your hotel can help.

If you do go to Times Square, have an exit strategy that keeps everyone together once the party’s over; with hundreds of thousands milling about, it’s too easy to get separated. And go to the bathroom first.  There are no porta-potties in Times Square.

Dress in warm layers if you spend time outdoors. It’s easy to underestimate how cold it’s going to be standing for five or more hours outside in the middle of winter if you spend it in Times Square. Even if temperatures aren’t that low, you should still dress in layers. Synthetic wind-resistant and water-repellent outerwear and a warm knit cap are essential. And if you’re flitting from one indoor party to the next, a good topcoat, long scarf, and warm head-cover are vital. Be careful, enjoy, and have a Happy New Year!

If any sort of accident befalls you or your family as a result of someone else’s negligence, the legal team at Kaplan Lawyers PC is available to help you recover full and fair legal damages. Contact any of our offices by phone or through this website to make your free case evaluation appointment.