In the dodgy world of journalism, the search for the truth is a sought out commodity. Fortunately for you, I am chock-full of it.

Unfortunately, the powers that be see it otherwise. Like a stray scratching at the back door, the issue of college drinking is a permanent annoyance for those who have moved far beyond their college years.

They like to use statistics to mash down the peeping blisters that glorify the drinking scene. An awful tragedy weighs heavy in the truth game.

To that end, I can only say that for every horrific tragedy, hundreds are prevented by good folk who understand the phrase “Live tonight to party tomorrow!”  The burden falls on us to keep each other safe.

In order to avoid the pithy, over-chewed rhetoric you’ve already heard about responsible drinking, I suppose, as always, I should give you some practical real world advice.

It is a bad decision every time. Drunk driving is a ghastly sin. If you really need to get home, call a taxi, ride the bus, or call someone who hasn’t been drinking.  However, staying the night is your best option.

Your bed will still be there tomorrow. I’ve slept everywhere: on the couch, on the floor (wrapped in a rug), in a tree house, in a tub, outside, and even with a dog in his dog bed.

I’m like a drunken Dr. Seuss. But in the end, I woke up safe to enjoy my green eggs and ham.

Additionally, as a party host, you are responsible for your guests. The art of stealing and hiding keys is no joke. I’ve hidden drunken guests’ keys everywhere: the desk drawer, between the mattresses, inside shoes.

I’ve even hidden some in the toilet. There is no measure you should spare to prevent impaired driving. If you have to flush them, get on with it: lives were saved.

Know thyself. If you know Wild Turkey 101 isn’t something you can handle, don’t try chugging it like water.  Knowing when to stop is pivotal.

Yeah-yeah, we are a generation of excess, I know. Regardless, having an idea of what you can handle is important.  Some people just aren’t built to drink certain types of booze.

Learn what you can handle, and go from there.  I used to think I could put a whooping on a bottle of Jack Daniels. Needless to say, Jack and I are still friends but we don’t hang out much.  Know where your peak is, and enjoy it. No one really cares if you can drink 15 beers.

Acting a fool is bad form.  As you get older, you’ll realize your years of experience in drinking have paid off. No one said you had to stop having fun. However, it is easy to make the distinction between those who can handle their booze, and those who can’t.

At my place, we used to have an excellent rule. Those who came and made a fool of themselves were required to wear a badge of shame sharpied on their face the next day.

You walk a thin line when you get wasted because no one wants to be the clown that everyone is laughing at, not with.

Take care of each other, always.  In every group of friends, there are the mother types. God love ‘em.  We can all take a lesson from their book.

Be there for friends when they’ve tipped the bottle a tad too much. The classic routine of making sure they are on their side, have water, and a safe place to stay goes a long way.

I promise they will thank you later.  If you get in over your head, call the experts. That three-digit number is there for a reason, and believe me, worst things have happened.

By its own nature, carousing relies on a group of drunken merrymakers to even exist.

We have to be a community that stands behind the well-being of all partiers. If we don’t, the nasty labels given to us will most certainly stick. Cheers!