Know Your Limits: Alcohol safety ahead of Gasparilla


TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Gasparilla is typically filled with a lot of floats, beads and booze, but if anyone plans to drink, do it responsibly.

Dr. Alfred Aleguas with Florida’s Poison Control Center Tampa said knowing one’s limit will be the key to drinking and surviving the Gasparilla weekend.

“Two drinks per hour is really about the limit,” Aleguas said. “You can’t drink eight drinks and say ‘I’m good’ for four hours because you’re dumping a whole bunch of alcohol all at once, but if you average out one or two drinks per hour, for the most part, most people should be fine.”

Dr. Aleguas also gave these tips for those who plan on drinking in the pirate fits:

  • Don’t drink and drive; Had a designated driver or use ride-sharing companies
  • Take your weight and size into consideration when drinking
  • Don’t drink too much and stay in the sun for too long; you can get dehydrated
  • Don’t mix alcohol with medication
  • Don’t sleep the alcohol away

Dr. Aleguas said falling asleep while being heavily intoxicated is extremely dangerous.

“People can look like they are just sleeping but it’s very easy for them to just slip into a coma and die,” Aleguas said. “Don’t ever let anyone just sleep it off, but if you find someone you are concerned about you should be concerned. Don’t be afraid to seek medical help.”

Drinking under the legal age is illegal and law enforcement officials have made it clear they have a no zero tolerance for underage drinking.

“The sheriff’s office and all of law enforcement will have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to the Gasparilla parade, if you are underage please don’t partake in alcoholic beverages during the parade we have too many issues with young people drinking not being experienced with drinking, not hydrating and they end up having issues,” Sheriff Chad Chronister with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said.


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