Don’t drink to excess and make your Common Riding safer

Getting drunk should not be a pre-requisite to having a good time.

This is the key message of the Drink Responsibly campaign that is being extended to the Common Riding festivals held across the Borders region this spring and summer, following a successful launch during the Rugby Sevens events.

A working group of Borders Alcohol and Drugs Partnership, Addaction, Lothian and Borders Police and Scottish Borders Council is looking to promote the message Drink Responsibly by working with communities and festival organisers by highlighting the issues associated with high consumption of alcohol.

Excessive drinking impacts on the individual and on communities, and a combination of interventions are required to reduce alcohol-related harm overall. House fires, violent incidents, drinking and driving, antisocial behaviour and underperformance at work are often linked to people who drink too much.

A spokesperson from Lothian and Borders Police said: “The Common Riding festivals in each town are a time when all communities are joined together to celebrate these long standing traditions.

“Equally, these are busy periods for the police and other emergency services, as these events are often associated with the consumption of alcohol. All too often people blame their inappropriate or offending behaviour on alcohol.

“We encourage everyone to enjoy themselves. However, it is important that individuals act and take responsibility for their alcohol intake, think of the consequences before it is too late and we would ask people to remain safe. Sadly, we still deal too frequently with alcohol related disorder and drink drivers.”

Communities will be provided with information on how to drink more responsibly through posters which will be displayed within licensed premises during these events.

Information on the risks of ‘legal highs’ and access to further information on how to stay safe will also be available.

Dr Eric Baijal, Director of Public Health for the Scottish Borders and Chair of the Borders Alcohol and Drugs Partnership, added: “While it is important on occasions such as these that we have a sense of community, it’s great to have a sense of well-being too. Prove for yourself that you can enjoy yourself without overindulging in alcohol.

“We should all share the vision of a Borders where moderate, responsible drinking is the norm.”

The Alcohol and Drugs Partnership is also urging people to prepare for being out all day and drinking alcohol over an extended period of time with little or no rest or sleep in between activities.

It is important to eat regularly and keep up your intake of fluids other than alcohol, such as water or juice, to reduce the risk of dehydration, particularly if the weather is good and the temperature rises.

Equally important is making sure you are dressed appropriately for the weather and have enough layers or waterproof clothing with you if the weather turns bad.