Scene: Tips for drinking safely in Winter

Observer/Jamie Winter

BY CAMILLE BORODEY, Assistant Scene Editor

The line of 50 people waiting outside of Club 301 on Friday proved that the cold weather hasn’t stopped Central students from hitting the bars over the weekend.

But when it’s 2 a.m. and the cab wait is 45 minutes, the hassle of walking home in 25 degree weather can make a night on the town slightly more problematic.

“Have a plan in motion,” Dave, the manager at Arnie’s Horseshoe Sport’s  Bar said, “or just wear a jacket.”

Dave and Andrew Nelson, bartender at Starlight, agree that the winter cold doesn’t usually stop customers from coming downtown.

“I see a lot more people taking cabs in the winter time,” Nelson said. “Ten bucks in your pocket for a cab, and it’s way safer.”

Students should also be aware of the risks of walking home wearing beer goggles when the sidewalks are snowy and icy.

“I know this guy that fell over and passed out, and if the police hadn’t come by and seen him, he would have froze,” Nelson said.

During winter quarter, Forrest Williamson, Central graduate, enjoys staying in and drinking whiskey by the fire, but his mode of transportation on a night out is usually walking.

Williamson has had his fair share of winter mishaps.

“I plead the fifth,” Williamson said. “I’ve walked on ice and fallen way too many times.”

In the winter time, ladies have to face the dilemma of dressing for comfort or braving the cold in a dress and heels. Even a pair of tights and a jacket can only do so much to protect one’s skin from the blistering cold.

“Yeah they’re slightly nuts,” Dave said. “It’s the price of fashion, right?”

Senior music major Emma Wolfman dresses up on rare occasions in these conditions.

“I think the only time I risked it was New Years,” Wolfman said. “It has to be a very special night to go out in skirts and heels.”

Erin Cone, graduate student in performance, notes that the weather conditions do not cloud her judgments about driving home intoxicated.

“I’ll risk slipping versus getting a DUI,” Cone said. “We always have people we can call if we don’t wanna walk.”

Doug Fulp, a health educator at Central’s Wellness Center, suggests that students who do choose to consume alcohol follow some safety tips. Fulp suggests setting a limit before drinking, keeping track of the drinks that are being consumed and being aware of the differences in a standard drink. One drink equals 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine or a 1.5 ounce shot of 80 proof hard alcohol.

“A Garbage Can at Starlight does not equal one drink,” Fulp said.

It is smart to drink water in between alcoholic drinks, as well as to eat a balanced meal before a night of drinking.

Whether one is taking the shoe lace express, finding a designated driver or the right outfit to wear, there are many ways that Central students can ensure that they have a safe and comfortable night downtown.

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