Whether you choose to stay at home or travel during spring break, it is important to be safe, and not to do things that can risk your safety and/or your success. Remember in all states the drinking age is 21, and any underage drinking charge has the potential to negatively impact your future. And despite what alcohol marketers might suggest to you, there are some very real risks to underage and/or excessive alcohol use.
For those of you who plan to drink as part of your spring break experience, you should consider the following for your own safety and the safety of others:
- If you are traveling, know the alcohol laws at your destination. Ask a travel agent for information on age of consumption and local laws regarding alcohol use. Even if you are at a location where you are legal to drink, remember there are also “clinical risks” involved when drinking too much. 100% of students who participated in focus groups last Spring stated they would rather their friends “not drink” or “under drink” rather than “over drink”.
- Only accept drinks from a licensed bartender or drinks that you pour or open yourself. Accepting drinks from strangers leaves you vulnerable to their trustworthiness. That is a risk. Would you leave your cell phone or IPad with a stranger? Probably not. So don’t leave yourself to their whims. Stay Sober: Stay in control.
- Don’t assume that someone you’ve just met will look out for your best interests. It is important to keep in mind that more people are sexually assaulted by acquaintances than by strangers, and alcohol is by far the biggest contributor to this sad reality.
- If a friend or relative feels sick, don’t leave them alone. If you feel sick, ask someone you know and trust to look out for you.
- Make sure your family and friends know where you will be vacationing, when you will depart, and when you expect to return home. Call family members or friends to let them know that you have arrived and returned safely.
- Don’t drink and drive or get in the car with someone who has been drinking. Arrange transportation to and from your destination before drinking.
Have fun and enjoy your well-deserved break, but always remember to be safe and make smart choices. While it is good to have some “down time,” that does not mean that “common sense” is on vacation; keep in mind that today’s actions impact tomorrow’s outlook.