The Chronicle’s View: Survive the holiday by celebrating responsibly

Memorial Day weekend traditionally kicks off the summer, and if for that reason alone, it deserves a decent celebration.

However, U students who include alcohol in that celebration should take extra care to maintain safety.

Drinkers should use designated drivers and cab services to minimize the number of intoxicated drivers on already-crowded roads.

Memorial Day weekend is one of the most dangerous times of the year when it comes to driving and traveling. If you can’t drink responsibly this weekend, do everyone a favor-just stay home.

Travelers who aren’t drinking during the holiday should also take care. There are a lot of irresponsible people out there, and they’ll be in full force this weekend.

As your high school driver’s ed. teacher/football coach probably told you, the best offense is a good defense. Watch out for the bad drivers this weekend because they won’t be watching out for you.

Drinking can also create dangerous situations for those who won’t be on the roads as much. Camping, boating, swimming and other outdoor activities should never be combined with alcohol.

There are enough ways to get hurt while cliff-diving, four-wheeling and marshmallow-roasting. Adding the effects of alcohol is just begging for trouble.

Dehydration is another major health concern. This weekend’s temperatures are expected to be in the mid-80s, and alcohol can contribute to dehydration. So if you plan to pack your cooler full of Coors, be sure to throw in a few Gatorades.

As always, people should be careful to not drink too much this weekend. Last year there were several cases of alcohol poisoning deaths on college campuses in Colorado, Arkansas, Virginia and Oklahoma.

While there’s nothing wrong with of-age individuals getting a nice buzz, people need to be aware of their limits and aware of those around them.

Though we spend a lot of time educating people about the potential dangers associated with drinking, drunk driving and the potential of date-rape drugs being used in alcoholic beverages, we tend to gloss over the fact that drinking too much can just flat-out kill you.

Memorial Day is supposed to be about remembering and honoring those who have passed away. So while you’re making it happen with the Captain, be careful not put your own health, or the lives of others, in jeopardy.