Across the world New Year's Eve revellers are being urged to drink responsibly in bringing in 2009.
Ambulance and police officers and clubs and pubs are reminding party-goers to look after themselves tonight as New Year's Eve festivities begin.
Traditionally the night of New Year's Eve and the early hours of New Year's Day have always been some of the busiest hours of the year for the police and ambulance services and both are warning that too much alcohol can result in illness and injury and leaves many, in particular women, in a vulnerable state.
The police say drinking alcohol is often a factor in assaults, serious road traffic incidents and collisions and unfortunately this happens every year.
While it is recognised that people want to enjoy themselves, revellers are urged to do so responsibly and if they plan to drink, leave their car keys at home and plan how they will end the evening and maybe pre-book a taxi for the journey home.
Ambulance and police services are under considerable pressure over the Christmas/New year period and they hope people will support them in preventing as many emergency calls as possible.
Over the festive period they are called out to treat injuries from falls, drink driving accidents, fights, stabbings and glassings, as well as vomiting and diarrhoea from binge drinking.
They offer some simple tips to make the New Year one to remember :- avoid drinking on an empty stomach, pace yourself and drink slowly, keep track of how many drinks you have, include soft drinks in your celebration and don't leave yourself vulnerable - plan how you will get home.
Remember there is no such thing as a hangover cure! so for the morning after drink plenty of water to rehydrate and at all costs avoid the 'hair of the dog'.
If you plan to drive the following day be aware that you could still register as 'over the limit' so take care, avoid driving and get someone who did not down as many to drive!
The Australian Hotels Association (AHA) is advocating a responsible drinking culture both in and out of pubs and clubs, and advises those drinking in unsupervised environments to look out for their friends, monitor their intake and act responsibly.
The Ambulance Service has warned there would be a zero tolerance policy to violence against paramedics.