I wish we lived in a perfect world where women didn’t have to watch their backs every two seconds. But this isn’t a rosy utopia: our women are in a state of constant danger, merciless predators watching their every move, waiting for them to let their guard down. So can’t women have the luxury to let loose every once in a while? In patriarchal societies, alcohol consumption is such a taboo for women, that women aren’t even taught the bare minimum in terms of alcohol safety. Especially since they’re the ones that need it the most.

Here are 5 drink safety tips that women need to keep in mind when they go out:

1. Never let strangers carry your drink.

A good rule of thumb is, always go to the bar and place your own drink order. Even if someone offers to buy you a drink. This ensures you have full control over what you put in your body and minimizes the risk of your drink getting spiked. 

2. Don’t leave your drink unattended. 

You never know, predators lurk in every corner, even when you least expect it. Leaving your drink out of sight is an opportune moment for someone to drop an unconsented substance into your cocktail. If you must part with your drink, hand it to the bartender and ask them to cover it. 

3. Know your limits

The best judge for you is …you. Pace yourself out between drinks. Assess your current state of intoxication, wait a few moments and then make the call whether to proceed with more. You might feel the peer pressure, but keep in mind that the bartender does not care whether you’re drinking or not and most often completely understands your decision to not let your guard down around strangers. Ask them to fix you something light. Remember, men have the luxury to get piss drunk and pass out in a corner and just wake up and walk home the next day. Women don’t. 10/10 times you’ll get violated.

4. If you’re in a position where you feel uncomfortable not ordering alcohol, here’s a list of light liquors and mixers that won’t get you drunk, but will still look like an actual cocktail:

Non-alcoholic beer, red bulls in a glass, mojitos only have 12% alcohol content, unfortified wine ranges from 5.5% to 13%, vermouth + ginger ale should be around 15% to 18%, and sweeter cosmopolitans are approximately 20% alcohol. 

5. You don’t owe anyone anything

“Can I buy you a drink?” is a loaded question. There is a possibility of it being an innocent request from someone who’s interested in making conversation. Other times, with it, comes an entitled pompous dick who thinks you must spend the rest of the night with them in exchange. The worst-case scenario? They roofie you. Accept the drink or not, you do not owe anyone anything. It was their choice to offer it to you. Also, if they demand something in return: red flag!!!

Better safe than sorry, ladies.