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Responsible drinking during Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is, traditionally, a time for celebrating the finer things in life with your friends and family -- including a cup or two of "holiday cheer." If you're not careful, however, the drinking can get a little out of control. That can leave you facing unintended consequences -- including hangovers, regrets about your behavior and even a drunk driving charge.

But being responsible with your drinking doesn't have to be a buzzkill. Here are some tips to follow:

1. Skip the shots.

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is a popular night in many bars. It may be tempting to hit the hot spots with your old friends while you're home for Thanksgiving, but sip a beer or two instead of doing shots.

2. Eat something.

Putting alcohol on an empty stomach is never a great idea if you want to avoid making yourself sick. Make sure that you have something to eat before you start drinking. That way, you won't have too much room to drink to excess.

3. Pace yourself.

If you plan on being around your drinking buddies for several hours or you know that your family is going to be bringing out the mulled wine as soon as it's dark, plan accordingly. Pacing yourself so that you don't drink more than one alcoholic drink every hour is a good plan.

4. Ask questions.

Everybody seems to love designer cocktails these days -- but don't take what's offered to you without asking what you're drinking. If that sweet, smooth drink has three shots of rum in it, you need to know.

5. Skip the sugar and caffeine.

Sweet drinks and caffeine mixed with alcohol both cause the same problem for drinkers: A quick, intense buzz followed by a deep crash. They're also good at triggering a hangover.

6. Have a plan to get home.

If you're drinking at a friend's house and you can spend the night, do it. Turn your keys over to the host and settle in for the night. If you're heading out for drinks, take an Uber so that you're not even tempted to drive home. If you must drive, it's best to abstain from alcohol altogether -- or stop drinking at least several hours before you get behind the wheel.

If you make a mistake and find yourself charged with driving under the influence (DUI) this Thanksgiving, get experienced legal advice right away.

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