Drink Smart: 15 Spring Break Dos & Don’ts
Whether you’re heading to the beach or schussing down a mountain, spring break is a time to relax, kick back and have fun with friends old and new. Drinking and partying are a big part of that experience, but following these 15 dos and don’ts will help you drink smarter and stay safe.
- Know the liquor laws. It’s important to know and understand state and local laws governing alcohol consumption wherever you’re going. Don’t rely on what other students say or do, confirm for yourself legal restrictions on drinking age, alcohol consumption on the beach, alcohol curfews, open containers, bar closing times, drinking in dry counties, and whatever else is relevant.
- Be responsible. Decide in advance whether or not you’ll drink, how much is enough and how much is too much, then stick to your commitment.
- Eat. Before you leave and periodically throughout the day/evening, eat enough food to buffer the effects of alcohol.
- Designate a driver. If you and your friends have a vehicle, decide in advance who will commit to not drinking and will act as the driver.
- Pace yourself. Know your limits and respect them. Drinking isn’t a competitive event, so don’t attempt to match or beat someone else’s consumption. To pace yourself and stay hydrated, down at least 8 oz of water between every alcoholic beverage you consume.
- Keep your drink with you. Take whatever you’re drinking with you wherever you go, including the restroom. Never finish a drink that’s been unsupervised for any period of time.
- Stick together. Arrive with your friends, keep an eye on each other, and leave together. If you see someone who’s not with your group but is in a dicey situation, do the right thing and look out for them, too.
- Stay safe. Enough said.
- Drink and drive anything. Don’t operate any motorized equipment or vehicles such as water scooters, beach buggies, boats, cars or trucks.
- Drink and swim. Alcohol affects your judgment, coordination and strength, so avoid swimming, diving, surf boards, boogie boards, and similar water-based activities.
- Accept drinks from strangers. Be safe, not sorry.
- Drink from open containers. That applies to drinks served in pitchers, tubs, punch bowls or whatever.
- Binge drink. Consuming alcohol rapidly and in quantity is binge drinking. In practical terms, that translates into downing four drinks (women) or five drinks (men) in a two-hour period.
- Ignore obvious signs. If you or a friend feels wobbly, fuzzy or queasy, stop drinking, you’ve had enough. Likewise, watch for signs such as wooziness, slurred speech, nausea, confusion and difficulty standing or walking, which may indicate the use of predatory date-rape drugs.
- Drink enough to become a target. If you and your friends are inebriated, you easily become the target of theft, assault, sexual assault and rape.