How to know your limit and make the festive season live up to its promise

Tuesday, 17 December, 2013
It is office party season and like everyone else you are looking forward to your opportunity to have fun with your colleaguesbr /
Many of us, however, have heard all the horror stories around end of year office party blunders but there is a way to ensure that you have fun and don’t end up embarrassing yourself and having to hang your head in shame the next day.

From DrinkIQ – a brandhouse initiative – Here are some of the tips on how to drink in moderation and make sure that your Christmas party lives up to its promise.  

•    Plan for everything:  You know how you are going to get to the party, and what you are going to wear.  But the one thing that people forget is to plan how you are going to get home safely.  Always have cash set aside for your taxi ride home; or get a designated driver, or better still – be the designated driver yourself.  

•    Eat before you drink:  Drinking on an empty stomach can be a recipe for disaster.  Food will help to slow the absorption of alcohol into the circulatory system.  

•    Pace yourself:  Alcohol will dehydrate you so drink plenty of water or soft drinks beforehand and during the night to make sure you stay refreshed.

•    Don’t ever accept drinks from strangers:  Make sure you get your drinks from the barman directly, and make sure you watch the barman open the drink in front of you.  This ensures that you know where your drink is coming from and nothing is spiked.  

•    Sip your drink:  It’s all about quality and not quantity.  And your head will feel better in the morning.

•    Know your limit:  Most people find that no more than a drink an hour will keep them in control of the situation and avoid drunkenness.   

•    Respect the rights of individuals who do not wish to drink:  It is considered impolite to attempt to get people to drink who do not wish to. They may abstain for religious or medical reasons, because they are recovering alcoholics, or they just may not like the taste and effect it has on them.

•    Don’t drink and drive:  Whatever you do, always ensure that you don’t drink and drive.

DrinkIQ suggests that if you track how much alcohol you drink you are well on your way to making responsible choices about alcohol.  

“DrinkIQ is an initiative to get people to understand the effect of alcohol on their body, mind and social environment,” says Zanele Njapha, Sustainability Manager at brandhouse.  “Make this festive season one to remember, and not one to forget.”  

“It is a resource designated to help South Africans make responsible choices about drinking – or not drinking.  Drinking responsibly is about enjoyment.  It's about pleasure and about getting together with friends and family and sharing good times.  Alcohol is a special product which if misused can cause harm to you and others. “

If you have an alcohol dependence or suspect someone else needs help, you can call Alcoholics Anonymous on the national helpline: 0861 435-722 or visit

Alternatively you can call the South African National Council on Alcoholism & Drug Dependence (SANCA) on the toll free number 086 14 72622 or visit  

For more information on DrinkIQ and alcohol related facts, please visit

South Africans Against Drunk Driving (SADD) on (033) 347 0103 or or Caro Smit, SADD’s director on 082 821 3673.