Spring break can be a lot of fun – or it could be a nightmare! Much of this depends on the choices you make. If you are venturing away from home, consider the following as you make your travel plans. Most of this is common sense. However, safety should never be a second thought. Practice these steps to ensure a fund a safe spring break.
Alcohol & Other Drugs
- The legal drinking age in all 50 states in the United States is 21. There are significant criminal penalties for underage possession and/or consumption of alcoholic beverages, depending on the jurisdiction.
- If you are of legal age to drink alcohol and choose to drink, do so in a way that does not put you or someone else at risk.
- There are also severe criminal penalties for the illegal possession and/or use of fake identifications. Generally, in heavily visited spring break areas (like Florida), police setup sting operations to capture fake IDs.
- Don’t drink and drive. Before you go out, designate a non-drinking driver.
- Buying, possessing, or using most drugs is illegal. Drugs can affect you both physically and mentally in unexpected ways. Taking any drug is a risky move, especially if you are mixing drugs and alcohol.
- Travel with someone you know and trust, and preferably with a larger group. Never allow members of your party to leave alone with strangers. Always travel in well-lighted areas.
- Don’t carry all of your credit or bank cards in your wallet or purse. Carry the minimum amount of cash that you will need, including a little backup. If you have extra cash, leave it in your hotel room, hidden from sight.
- Make sure your friends and relatives know where you will be vacationing, when you will depart, and when you expect to return. Call friends or family members to let then know that you have arrived and returned safely.
- Prepare a list of emergency contacts, including how to reach mom and dad in case you are in an accident and your local bank and credit card company in case your credit cards or traveler’s checks are stolen.
- If you are robbed, don’t resist – give up any money, jewelry, or other valuables. You can always replace material things! Call 911 as soon as you can.
- Don’t horseplay or climb on balconies. Never sit on railings and always keep both feet on the floor at all times. Falls from balconies, even those on lower floors, can be fatal.
- Do not give your lodging information out to strangers.
- Do not bring strangers back to your room, and do not give out any personal information about yourself or those you are with.
- Go partying with people you can rely on. Stick together, look out for each other and make sure everyone’s safe. Especially watch out for friends who appear intoxicated.
- If a friend feels sick, don’t leave them alone. If you feel sick, ask someone to look out for you.
- If a member of your group passes out, turn them on their side to prevent choking and call 911 immediately.
- Watch out for your drink and never accept an open drink from someone you don’t know. If you have to leave your drink for any time, ensure you leave it with someone responsible who will watch it to ensure it doesn’t get spiked with one of the easily obtained “date-rape” drugs, such as GHB, Ketamine, or Rophynol.
- Know the laws of the place to which you are traveling. They WILL be enforced. Penalties for violating drug laws in many countries – even for possession of small amounts – are generally far more severe than in the USA.
- Learn to blend in a foreign country. Students need to maintain a low profile during these unsettled times.
- Investigate available resources on safety. Check web sites of the U.S. State Department for travel warnings, embassies abroad, travelers health web sites, FAA, etc.
University Police hope you have a great, relaxing,
but most of all S-A-F-E spring break 2012.
Looking forward to seeing you all back safe and sound on Mon., March 26th.