How to Stay Safe on Spring Break
This time of year is known for one thing — spring break! Unfortunately, spring break trips aren’t all “fun and games,” and there are a few consistent trends that can give this season a bad rap. We have some tips for staying safe on spring break.
Much like the holidays, alcohol consumption is high across the board, especially among minors (those under the age of 21). Often times, it’s more than just a casual drink or two.
Statistics have shown that among college students, 44 percent of girls and 75 percent of guys drink every day during spring break, and nearly 50 percent of students “black out” at least once on their trip.
Excessive drinking, or binge drinking not only compromises your health and safety, but the safety of those around you. It can also lead to an increased risk for drinking and driving, which can result in getting charged with driving under the influence (DUI) or minor in possession (MIP).
Whether you’re a college student or parent of one, it’s important to know what to expect ahead of time, and how to plan accordingly. In the event a trip doesn’t go as planned and you (or your child) needs a criminal defense attorney in Kansas City, give Kitchin Law Firm a call at 913-558-6739.
Stay safe, stay within the law
While you may be tempted to make this year “one for the books,” there are several things to keep in mind as you prepare to take your big spring break trip!
1. Discuss the plan ahead of time
2. Secure a back-up plan
3. Always play it safe
Although abiding by the law is not always as it should be, the legal drinking age in the United States is still 21 — yes, even during spring break.
If you and your friends are under the age of 21 and are caught drinking or abusing illegal substances on your trip (in the U.S.), you can expect to receive MIP charges, which is always a quick way to bring your spring break fun to an end.
Discuss the plan ahead of time
Taking a road trip to your favorite Florida beach may sound good in theory as a high school or college student. But, you have to be cautious of what you may be getting yourself into.
Things to discuss and consider ahead of time:
– Who all is going on the trip?
– Will there be alcohol?
– Do you plan on attending parties?
Making spring break memorable for the wrong reasons, like receiving DUI/DWI or MIP charges, is not an ideal scenario. Be open and talk through details before the trip. This not only gives you insight on what to expect, but can help you make better, informed decisions.
Secure a back-up plan
Once you feel comfortable with the plan, the next step is to secure a reliable back-up plan. While you may feel confident about who all is going to be there, how to be responsible in environments where there’s alcohol and avoiding parties with people you don’t know — things can change in just a matter of time.
Keep in mind: if you’re 21 or older, and a few of your friends are minors, choosing not to drink on the trip may be your best bet. You don’t want to be responsible for them feeling the pressure to participate in underaged drinking.
What would you do if you got invited to a get together with other people you know (that you didn’t make the plan with), and they are drinking alcohol when you show up?
We all know that making decisions on the fly isn’t “best practice” for anyone when it comes to alcohol-related matters. This is where your trusted back-up plan comes into play.
– If you’re a minor, you should leave the party ASAP. Being at the wrong place at the wrong time still puts you at risk for an MIP charge. You can never assume you’re “in the clear” and the police won’t show up. Because it happens.
– If you’re of the legal drinking age and your friends are minors, leave the party. Even if it takes convincing them why you shouldn’t stay — don’t back down from leaving.
– If you and your friends are 21, and you drove, make yourself the designated driver (D.D.). This can help prevent any sort of impaired driving that may lead to a DUI charge or DUI arrest.
Always Play it Safe
There are many factors to take into account when it comes to staying safe during spring break.
Too often, you hear spring break stories of young people who didn’t choose to play it safe, and it cost them their life or the life of another. If you’re 21 and over, drinking can be done responsibly.
When you neglect having an actionable plan for drinking responsibly, you immediately increase your chances of an unwanted DUI/DWI charge. If you choose to have a few drinks on your trip, driving is never worth it.
Don’t risk it.
Talk to your friend who you know is a D.D. for the night. If the D.D. decided to have a drink or two, get an Uber or Lyft. Having these options in place will protect you and help prevent drunk driving, while keeping other drivers safe.
Kansas City’s DUI and MIP Attorney
When spring break trips don’t go as planned, you need a trusted criminal defense attorney to represent you.
At Kitchin Law Firm, we care about you and where you’re going. Give us a call to get a free quote for your case and find out how we can fight to protect your rights, record and future.