Area Emergency Rooms Prepare For New Year's Eve Binge Drinkers - KOAM TV 7

Area Emergency Rooms Prepare For New Year's Eve Binge Drinkers


Area Emergency Rooms prepare for an increase of drunk patients as New Year's Eve approaches. Joplin's Mercy Emergency Room anticipates a three-fold increase in the number of patients admitted with alcohol related problems New Year's Eve night. 

It might not look like it, if you saw it now, but come New Year's Eve this room at the Kitchen Pass Bar & Grill will be filled with a live band and many patrons. Owner Mike Pawlus says he's trained his staff to not only watch how much people are served, but who might have started the party before even entering his front door. 

"Some may have started a little early in the day, so we watch really closely for patrons who have already come who have already had quite a bit to drink," Pawlus said. 

And while some may only plan on having a few drinks and still being safe to drive. Bad news. According to Mercy Hospital E.R. Doctor Jim Riscoe even one drink will put you at risk behind the wheel. 

"People that are relatively novice at drinking, it doesn't take very much alcohol to get them in trouble," Riscoe said. 

For an average person, Riscoe says it take the body one hour to metabolize one ounce of pure alcohol. In fact, Riscoe is working the E.R. New Year's Eve. He says many don't realize just how long it takes for the body to rid it's self of just one eight ounce mixed drink.

"It'd be three or four hours down the road before you had no alcohol in your system," Riscoe said. 

And according to Riscoe, even if you're under the legal limit, studies show a marked impairment of function and coordination at levels as low as .02. Which is why bar owners like Pawlus always suggest finding a ride or taking a cab.

"There will be a lot of car's left in the parking lot over new years eve, they're pretty smart about it," Pawlus said.   

So before you start popping bottles this New Year's Eve heed Pawlus' warning and make sure you have a plan for getting to and from holiday plans safely.


To visit Joplin's Mercy Hospital website, click here.

To visit Kitchen Pass' website, click here. 

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