Virginia ABC > Sip Responsibly > Sip Informed
Graphic illustration with "Sip Smartly" written and two hands holding cocktails and canned cocktail
Opportunities to celebrate with family and friends are happily sprinkled throughout the year. Holidays, sporting events and life’s greatest milestones like weddings, graduations, new jobs and buying a first house all bring gatherings for adults to enjoy toasting with spirits. Mindful choices about alcohol consumption can ensure that those celebrations become happy memories. Virginia ABC encourages adults 21 and up to please sip responsibly to continue celebrating life’s happy times for years to come.
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Benefits of Sipping Responsibly

  • Improved physical health: A break from drinking can help to reduce the risk of developing a range of physical health problems
  • Improved mental health: A break can help to improve overall mental well-being
  • Improved relationships: A break from drinking can improve communication, strengthen bonds and provide opportunities for introducing new bond building activities.
  • Improved sleep: Alcohol can disrupt sleep patterns and cause insomnia, so a break can help to improve the quality and duration of sleep.
  • Improved self-esteem: A break from drinking can increase self-confidence and self-esteem.
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Tips for Transitioning to Low or No-Alcohol

  • Find a substitute non-alcoholic cocktail or go-to product. Check out offered products and recipes for help making the choice. 
  • Do it with friends or join a social media group with like-minded individuals
  • Remember your “Why?”. Remind yourself why you're making this change to more responsible drinking. 
  • Keep a journal or use an app to track your progress
  • Setbacks don’t mean it’s over. It’s not all or nothing, just have a plan for how you will get back on track.
  • Find alternatives: other ways to unwind at the end of the day, such as a bubble bath, working out or meditation
  • Understand it is still OK to say “no” every once in a while
Graphic illustration with "host responsibly" text and waiter holding serving tray

Responsible Party Hosting Tips

  • It’s never okay to drink and drive. Make sure your guests have a designated sober driver or call a ride service to get them home safely.
  • If you believe an intoxicated driver is on the road, report it to local law enforcement.
  • Buzzed driving is drunk driving. Remind guests that driving skills and abilities, such as judgment, reaction time and motor coordination diminish for most people long before they appear drunk.
  • Put yourself in the mind of a non-drinker. Don’t force drinks on your guests, or rush to refill their glasses.
  • Ensure everyone on your guest list is 21 or older. If not, keep the alcohol in a location where alcohol is accessible to adults 21 and older only.
  • Use inviting and inclusive language such as, “If you’d like a taste,” or “If you’d like a low-or-no alcohol option.”
  • When serving alcohol at your event, remember to stick to a standard drink size. Be sure to offer low alcohol by volume (ABV) options and avoid an open punch bowl that contains large amounts of alcohol in one serving.
  • Always serve food throughout your event, especially those high in protein and healthy fat such as cheese, meats and nuts.
  • Always have non-alcoholic drinks such as water, juice, kombucha and tea available for guests.
  • Prevent over consumption. Stop serving alcohol two hours before the event ends, but continue to serve non-alcohol drinks and food.
  • Don’t let people drink and drive.

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