- Alcohol and the outdoors – tips on how to stay safe
- The dangers of alcohol and cold weather
- Alcohol and outdoor adventures
- Alcohol and parties
The more you drink, the more likely you are to be at risk of hurting yourself, someone else or damaging property. Consuming alcohol can:
- affect your judgement and reasoning;
- slow down your reaction times;
- upset your sense of balance and coordination;
- impair your vision and hearing; and make you lose concentration and
- feel drowsy.
We all know that we should not drink and drive, but there are more risks than that. Knowing some of the risks before you consume alcohol can help keep you and others safe.
Alcohol and the outdoors – tips on how to stay safe
- Know where you'll spend the night and how you'll get there safely before you start consuming.
- Make sure the people you're with make it to a safe place for the night. Do not hesitate to confirm that people have made it to safety by phoning or texting. If you do not hear back from them, take action.
- Dress for the weather. Hypothermia can happen in summer as well as in winter.
- Do not let friends walk alone.
- If you're in an area with wildlife, make noise and stick together.
- Let someone you trust know where you'll be and what time you'll be back.
- Keep a cell phone and a rescue number with you. Do not hesitate to use it.
- Be fire safe. Alcohol affects balance and coordination, and you can accidentally burn yourself while tending to a fire.
- Pace your drinking through the night and frequently alternate with an alcohol-free drink.
- Do not drive while you're intoxicated or get into the vehicle of someone who's been drinking. That includes ATVs, boats, bikes and snowmobiles.
The dangers of alcohol and cold weather
Alcohol can impair your decision-making ability, which can lead you to take risks that you would not take when sober. Make sure you have a safe place to sleep and a safe way of getting there before you start drinking. It’s best to find a sober ride home and ensure the driver does not leave until you're inside. If you do decide to walk, you may find yourself at very real risk of frostbite or hypothermia.
When you drink, alcohol affects the blood vessels just below your skin. They open up and more blood, and heat, flows into them. You might feel like you're warm but you're losing vital body heat, and you may even be tempted to shed a layer or two.
To reduce your risks:
- drink responsibly;
- limit your exposure to cold;
- dress warmly;
- avoid getting intoxicated;
- keep hydrated; and
- have a sober friend you can call if you need help.
Alcohol and outdoor adventures
Intoxication while enjoying Yukon's outdoors can impair judgement and increase the likelihood that you'll:
- take unnecessary risks;
- travel in the wrong direction; or
- cause damage to the wilderness around you that could result in fines.
Alcohol consumption can also affect more than you and your group. Nuisance and noise issues could result in tickets and eviction notices from Yukon campgrounds.
We should all know better than to operate any type of vehicle while intoxicated, but did you know it's also illegal to hunt or handle a firearm while you're intoxicated?
Since emergency services are not nearby when you go into the back county, any accident could be deadly. Know how to stay safe while in Yukon’s wilderness and stay sober.
Alcohol and parties
Parties are a great way to reconnect with friends and meet new ones, but drinking alcohol at parties brings risks. Before going out, make sure you know where you'll be spending the night and how you'll get there and also have an alternate plan, just in case.
Keep your alcohol secure and do not share it with minors. Anyone who allows a minor to consume alcohol or who gives alcohol to a minor could be:
- charged under the Liquor Act; and
- could be liable to civil charges if the minor harms themselves, someone else or damages property.
If you're attending a bush party:
- do not start dangerous fires and make sure it's out when the party is done;
- let people know where you'll be, who you're with; and
- know how you'll get back safely.
Bring extra clothes and a cell phone and stick together. Do not hesitate to call your local police for help if any party gets out of hand.