Fiesta San Antonio is 11 days of fun and entertainment, which includes a lot of eating and drinking, and unfortunately, an increase in alcohol-related driving incidents. During Fiesta, the number of DUI offenders and car crashes caused by alcohol-clouded drivers increases greatly.
There are some important safety principles and procedures – alcohol consumers and seller-servers should follow – to celebrate responsibly and safely navigate the festivities.
About Fiesta San Antonio
Fiesta San Antonio started in 1891 as a one-parade event as a way to honor the memory of the heroes of the Alamo and the Battle of San Jacinto. That historic commemoration still takes place, but for more than a century, Fiesta has grown into a celebration of San Antonio’s rich and diverse cultures. Fiesta has evolved into one of this nation’s premier festivals with an economic impact of more than $340 million for the Alamo City.
Alcohol-Related Crashes Increase During Fiesta
The Hill Law Firm recently commissioned a study to examine the statistics on alcohol-related crashes during Fiesta. From 2012 to 2018, there were 595 such crashes during the combined 84 days of Fiesta.
#SafeFiesta Hashtag Campaign
The San Antonio Police Department (SAPD) asks people to make a pledge to not drink and drive by adding the hashtag #SafeFiesta to all Fiesta related posts, visuals, and videos. This helps spread awareness and could save a life in the process.
Alcohol Safety Tips for Fiesta Go-ers
- Use the Buddy System – Plan ahead by taking a trusted friend who has your best interests in mind. Stay together! Look out for the safety of your friends and talk to them about doing the same for you.
- Avoid Drinking with Children in Care – Don’t drink alcohol when enjoying the Fiesta as a family – it limits your judgment and your ability to care for your children properly.
- Eat and Stay Hydrated – Make sure you eat well and stay hydrated throughout the day you are planning to go out. An effective tip is to eat food with protein and fat before and during drinking. It also helps to alternate a non-alcoholic beverage, such as water, with any alcoholic drinks you consume. Eating and drinking water also can decrease the likelihood you’ll have a hangover.
- Leave Valuables at Home – Make sure you don’t leave valuables unattended. The best way to keep your possessions safe is to leave them secured at home. It reduces the chance they will be lost or taken from you. If a party is being hosted at your home, also be sure to lock up your valuables.
- Stay by Your Drinks – Even if you are not drinking alcohol, it is easy for someone to put something in your drink unless you see it opened or prepared. Keep your drink with you at all times.
- Avoid Buzzed or Drunk Driving – Here are tips on how to enjoy Fiesta, play it safe, and avoid drunk driving:
- Choose a designated driver who will not drink if you’re consuming alcohol.
- Ask for a ride from a friend or a family member.
- Make sure you’re not drinking on an empty stomach and that you’re drinking water in between alcoholic drinks.
- Call a cab or use a ride share app like Uber of Lyft.
- Use public transportation.
Alcohol Safety Tips for Bartenders
An alcohol safety seller-server program prepares bartenders, servers, and all front-of-house staff to effectively and safely handle difficult situations in restaurants. Alcohol service involves many risks. Failure to act responsibly could result in fines, imprisonment, losing your liquor license, increased insurance costs, or losing your business. Restaurant employees could face criminal charges for serving alcohol to a minor or an intoxicated customer and can even be held liable if an intoxicated customer’s actions lead to a death, injury or property damage.
- Employees who obtain TABC Certification - Texas alcohol seller-server training - are able to prevent sales to minors, recognize signs of intoxication, and effectively intervene to prevent problem situations.
- Texas TABC Approved Provider #454-508
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Alcohol seller-servers need to be prepared to handle these risks with responsible alcohol training. Here are some owner/manager tips to keep in mind when serving alcohol:
- Make sure staff is properly checking identifications to verify the customers are in fact 21 or older, not just at the door, but at the point of sale.
- Train staff to recognize impaired or intoxicated patrons.
- Offer free non-alcoholic beverages and food for designated drivers.
- Tell staff to watch for anyone attempting to tamper with drinks.
- Encourage staff to talk to patrons about their plan for a safe ride home.
- Familiarize staff with ride share and cab transportation for the evening.
Make Fiesta a #SafeFiesta! Have a designated driver and discourage heavy drinking. It will save lives!