Advice to party goers to help you stay safe this Christmas

This weekend sees the festive party season in full swing and Tayside Police hopes that revellers enjoy their seasonal celebrations in high spirits but also safely.

Pubs, clubs and restaurants will be busy with revellers as they relax and enjoy themselves but people can often drink more than they realise. There is nothing wrong with having a few drinks and a good time but it is when so much drink is taken that people lose control of their actions and it is then that personal safety is most a risk.

Tayside Police asks that people plan their nights out, ensure that they have organised their trip home and look out for friends and colleagues. Officers frequently have to assist people who have had too much drink, become separated from their friends, or are disorientated. In such circumstances they are vulnerable.

Past experiences has shown that 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.

In many cases problems arise simply because people drink more at this time of the year than they normally do. 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 long anticipated 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; it will make you 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. Remember to take your mobile and make sure it is charged and has credit on it. Try to make sure that someone knows where you are going and who you are with.

- Consider what you are taking with you when you go out. Do you need to carry a large amount of cash and all your bank and credit cards for instance? Just make sure you have enough money for a taxi at the end of the night. It might be a good idea to keep that separate from your other money.

- Stay together. While 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 up 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, remember safety in numbers. If you have to walk, make sure you 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 that 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 here at Tayside Police hopes you have a great time and wishes you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.