"You just have to be smart because the consequence of too much drinking are so huge today,"' says Dick Gallagher, former director of Alcohol and Drug Dependency Services in Buffalo, and an expert on youth drinking.
Standard advice on staying sober - which varies depending on a person's size- is to drink no more than 1 drink per hour.
The National Institutes on Alcohol Abuse offers these tips :
Alternate “drink spacers” — non-alcoholic drinks such as water, soda, or juice — with drinks containing alcohol.
Know the standard drink sizes & count your drinks accurately. One standard drink is 12 ounces of regular beer, 8 to 9 ounces of malt liquor, 5 ounces of table wine, or 1.5 ounces of 80–proof spirits.
Away from home, especially with mixed drinks, it can be hard to keep track and at times you may be getting more alcohol than you think.
With wine, you may need to ask the host or server not to “top off” a partially filled glass.
Exclusive WBEN Audio
On The WBEN Liveline
Dick Gallagher, alcohol education expert
Mike Mule, Designated Driver Service of Buffalo
The combination of students back from college, people who don't want to entertain on Wednesday night, and the short window for all those out of town travelers pushes most bars- and roadways- to the limit with would-be drunks.
"Enjoy the holiday. Enjoy your friends and family but don't drink too much and if you are drinking more than you should , have a designated driver. Know your (blood alcohol content ) limit.," Gallagher says.
To some degree people are getting the message, according to Mark Croce, proprietor of several downtown Buffalo bars.
"The night before thanksgiving was traditional the biggest bar night of the year," he says. " We've seen a drop off over the past few years. I don't know if its because of drinking or driving or fewer young people coming back each year."