How Can I Say No to Drinking on New Year’s?

Many people feel pressured to drink on NYE, but there are many ways to combat this. Making the decision to remain sober on New Year’s is a smart choice, because it allows you to stay more alert, aware, and present in conversations that you have with others. Much of New Year’s drinking can lead to arguments, fist fights, and reckless decisions that produce harsh consequences both physically, mentally, and legally. Here are some sample phrases that you can use this New Year’s if you are asked to drink:

  • “Thanks, but I already have a drink.” This phrase works well in large crowds, because most people aren’t going to pay so close attention as to what you are drinking. Health Online states that there are many fun, non-alcoholic drinks that you can have to still “fit in” with others while staying true to your goal of sobriety. Mocktails, sparkling water, fancy juices and flavored teas all work well during NYE.
  • “I have to get up early tomorrow, so I can’t.” Nobody can argue with responsibility, as everyone knows what it’s like to get up early to take care of the kids or to leave something early to get some extra work done. Even if you don’t have other responsibilities, it can be a fantastic way to detract attention from drinking and to start talking about something else if you need to.
  • “I’ve already had too much in this lifetime, thanks though.” A subtle way to say no, this statement shows that you are acknowledging the opportunity to drink but are simply rejecting it because you are staying true to your values. There is nothing wrong with making the decision to stay sober and then sticking to it throughout the night.
  • “No thanks, I have to drive tonight.” Most people appreciate a designated driver (DD), so if you’re reason for not drinking is because you must drive later in the evening, most people will understand that. Safety is never something that you should have to compromise.


Remember that on New Year’s Eve, most people will be so excited to see other people and to be playing games/listening to music/eating food that they will not be hyper-focused on what you are drinking. Simply having a drink, whether it be a mocktail, water, sprite, or other non-alcoholic beverage should help ward-off any questioning related to drinks because people will be able to see that you already have one.

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