Department of Health Encourages Vermonters to Enjoy a Sober Holiday

For Immediate Release: Dec. 24, 2007
Media Contact: Communication Office
Vermont Department of Health
802-863-7281

BURLINGTON – The Health Department reminds Vermonters that the healthiest way for adults over the legal drinking age of 21 to enjoy the holiday season is to drink responsibly, or not to drink at all.

Alcohol is a drug that depresses the central nervous system, slowing the activity of the brain. Judgment and restraint are lessened and reflexes are slowed. Nationally, drinking and driving kills someone every 31 minutes and injures someone every two minutes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Unfortunately, alcohol use is still considered somewhat of a norm at social gatherings and holiday parties nationwide,” said Barbara Cimaglio, deputy commissioner for the division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse. “Resist the pressure to drink and serve alcohol at social events, serve food, don’t pressure people to drink, and make sure people who have been drinking do not drive.”

Other tips for a safe and sober holiday include always offering alternatives to alcohol to drink at a party so that people have a choice, and to never leave alcohol sitting out where kids can pick it up and drink it.

According to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, the $49 billion distilled-spirits industry makes more than 25% of its profits from Thanksgiving to the New Year. Vermont sells nearly 1.5 times the volume of liquor in December than any other month of the year from its 75 liquor and spirit outlets statewide, according to the Vermont Department of Liquor Control.

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