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CLEVELAND -- It's the time of year where people take time out to gather with friends and families to celebrate the holiday season. Often times, holiday parties and nights out on the town include alcohol.

Aswe found out Thursday night, people can get to Ohio's legal limit of .08 a lot sooner than they think.

"Whether you're a large person or a small person, man or woman...All these things impact the way your body processes alcohol," said University Hospital's Dr. Another DeRoss.

As it turns out, women are more susceptible to the affects of alcohol than their male counterparts. Dr. DeRoss says the science behind the fact goes back to the women having less total body water than men.

In addition to that, Dr. DeRoss says impairment begins with the first drink and continues to go down as the amount of alcohol drank goes up.

"Impaired judgment, slower motor skills, range of affects depends on who you are," said Dr. DeRoss.

Before attending any event where there will be drinks, you should always make arrangements for a designated driver or a cab to take you home.

We caught up with some Clevelanders who had done just that, and were out having a drink.

Phil Galus works in the bar industry. He says people often plan on having only a couple of drinks.

"I think everyone says that towards the end of the night..." people tend to break their own rules....Especially around the holidays, people get a little loose."

Galus, who was riding the RTA home, had just started drinking when we chatted with him.We gave him a Breathalyzer to test his blood alcohol level.He was surprised to see he was at a .065.

"Seems like kind of a lot for a quarter of a beer and a shot," Galus.

He was glad he had pre-arranged plans that didn't require him to get behind the wheel to get home. If you're hosting a party or plan on attending one, there are a few things University Hospitals think you should keep in mind.

  • As guests RSVP, confirm that at least one person in each group is prepared to be the non-drinker driver
  • Provide plenty of food to keep your guests from drinking on an empty stomach
  • Avoid too many salty snacks, which tend to make people thirsty and drink more.
  • Offer non-alcoholic beverages or "mocktails" to designated drivers
  • If preparing an alcoholic punch, use a non-carbonated base.
  • Alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream faster with a carbonated base
  • Be prepared by having a number of a taxi service to hand out to those who need a ride

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