Christchurch Police are urging people to enjoy their Christmas cheer responsibly, and not let alcohol turn a holiday into a tragedy.
Sergeant Al Lawn of the Canterbury Alcohol Strategy and Enforcement Team, says Police and emergency services all too often see the down side of over-exuberant festivities - including crime, crashes, disorder and family violence.
"This time of year should be all about celebrating, enjoying family time, and getting into the festive spirit - without going over the top," he says.
"Sadly there are always some who go too far - and end up spoiling the holiday season for themselves and others.
"Alcohol misuse during the summer holidays takes a huge toll in terms of crime, crashes, disorder and family violence, and is a huge cost to the community.
"Our message to everyone this summer is to enjoy the festivities, but pace yourselves, balance eating and drinking, and look after your mates.
"Many people will be enjoying a drink this Christmas, but we need to remember that too much booze can cause stress, interfere with sleep, and lead to people making choices that they may regret later."
Sergeant Lawn says Police will be making regular patrols in the lead up to Christmas and the New Year, undertaking breath-testing operations, enforcing liquor bans and taking a hard line on any alcohol-fuelled disorder.
"People should also remember to observe the alcohol-free liquor ban zones."
In addition, Police will be keeping a close eye on bars and licensed premises during the holidays, including checks on licensing hours.
"Punters should be aware that bars will be closing at 12 midnight on Christmas eve," says Sergeant Lawn.
"A number of premises have been granted special licenses for New Year's Eve, but Police will be out and about checking that publicans are adhering to their license conditions.
"Above all we want to remind publicans that they should take responsibility for helping people to enjoy a night out - but also to get home safely afterwards."