Holiday Safety

Alcohol, Parties & Driving

Being a smart party host or guest should include being sensible about alcoholic drinks. More than half of all traffic fatalities are alcohol-related. Use designated drivers, people who do not drink, to drive other guests home after a party.

Have something to eat before consuming alcoholic beverages. Eat high protein foods that will stay in your stomach longer and slow the absorption of alcohol into your system. Remember only time will eliminate the alcohol from your body. Know your safe limit. Never drink and drive!


When Parking

When parking, roll up the windows, lock the vehicle, take the keys, and conceal valuables, preferably in the trunk. During hours of darkness, park and walk in lighted areas to the extent possible. When returning to your vehicle, carry your keys in your hand and be ready to unlock the door and enter as quickly as possible. As you approach your vehicle, scan the area, glance underneath the vehicle, and take a quick look inside before entering.

While Out & About

While out and about, present an alert appearance. Be aware of your surroundings; scan the area from time to time. Avoid concentrating so hard on shopping that you fail to keep track of your surroundings, others near you, or your personal property. Wear conservative, comfortable clothing.

Grip carried items firmly and avoid leaving them unattended. Carry minimal cash and valuables, wear minimal jewelry. Using debit or credit cards is much safer than carrying a lot of cash. Shop with friends or relatives if possible; there is safety in numbers. As you shop, be alert in crowded places.


Pickpockets favorites are revolving doors, jammed aisles, elevators, and public transportation stops and vehicles, especially at rush hour. Carry the day's most expensive purchases closest to your body, and don't carry so much you lose the ability to react quickly. Keep a close eye on your children while shopping.

Other Tips

Teach your children to go to a store clerk or security guard if they ever get separated from you in a store/mall, and be sure they know their first and last name so they can tell someone who they are. It's best to keep children under 4 in a stroller.

Return to your vehicle periodically to check on it and reduce the amount you are carrying and must keep track of. Store packages in the trunk or, if your vehicle doesn't have one, out of plain view (on the floorboard, under a blanket or seat). Ask for an escort to your car if you feel nervous.

If Followed

If you are followed on foot, cross the street, vary your pace and change direction. If you are followed by vehicle execute several right turns to verify and get to and stay on arterial streets Note and record: license plate number, description of vehicle and occupant(s) If you are followed by a vehicle while on foot, turn the "wrong way" onto a one-way street. If the follower persists, go to an occupied and lighted location (convenience store, fire station, police station) and summon police.


Confine your charitable giving to reputable established organizations, preferably those with a local branch. If solicited for an unfamiliar organized charity, ask for literature so you can make an informed decision about giving; any reputable organization will be glad to provide material.

With the exception of local organizations, door-to-door sales are often fraudulent, and should be viewed with skepticism. If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Promptly report suspicious persons, vehicles, and crimes to the local law enforcement agency.