Now that lockdown has lifted and the nation’s nightlife is finally emerging from hibernation, we can once again relax after a long week in time-honoured fashion: by going down to the local town centre, necking a few choice drinks and even doing a little bit of dancing.

Even when there isn’t a deadly virus on the loose, it’s worth spending a little bit of time thinking about how to stay safe when you’re on a night out – especially if it’s a night out in an unfamiliar city. While many of the basic dos and don’ts will be learned through experience, there are a few points worth bearing in mind so that you don’t have to learn them the hard way.

Don’t get too Drunk

Having a few drinks isn’t going to jeopardise your safety in the short term. Having a few too many drinks, on the other hand, is. You’ll be more likely to stumble into traffic, to pick a fight, to fall down a flight of stairs, and to be the victim of a crime. Of course, even if you have had a few drinks, that doesn’t mean that everything that’s happened to you is your fault. Injure yourself on a night out, and it might be worth getting in touch with criminal injury solicitors, who’ll be able to make a claim on your behalf.

Watch your Drinks

Even if you’re perfectly sensible about what you’re drinking, you might run into trouble if someone slips something into your drink. Be aware of this danger. Drink out of bottles if you’re in a darkened, crowded club. Have someone there to watch your drink when you’re not able to.

Move in a Group

Sticking together with a group of friends will help you to all look out for one another. If someone isn’t having a good time, then it’s the job of the others to notice this and intervene.

Don’t do Things you Don’t Want to Do

You’re in control of your how you spend your leisure time. If you’re not comfortable with a situation, don’t let anyone pressure you into it. You don’t need to provide a specific reason. If you’re with friends you trust, then they’ll understand and help you to back out without losing face. If they let you down, then don’t go out with them again.

Have a Way Out

Booking a taxi in advance will allow you to bail on a bad night out, and it’ll allow you to get everyone home safely. If you’re walking home, then plan a route that’s well-lit and covered by CCTV.

Don’t Intervene

It’s not your job to stick your oar into other people’s confrontations. If you notice activity you don’t like the look of, then tell a bouncer. If a crime is being committed, then phone the police. Don’t try and be a hero.