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Spring Weekend: Tips for staying safe

By Katie McWilliams
On April 24, 2014

Spring Weekend at UConn is practically a legend throughout the state. With that party-crazed reputation, however, comes the need to stay safe and take extra care when it comes to going out. UConn is a very safe campus by most accounts, but as with any weekend, there are numerous dangers to drinking and going out. Take these precautions to stay out of trouble this weekend and ensure that you make it till graduation or summer time safe and sound.
Know Your Limits
Every alcohol education seminar that students are required to attend hammers in the point that students, at the very least, need to be aware of how much alcohol they can safely handle. I must preface this by saying that Spring Weekend is not the time to experiment with public intoxication or to break residential rules. There will be police all over campus, and dorms have upped Resident Assistant presence. If you aren't 21-years-old, I seriously recommend following the rules.
If you do chose to imbibe underage, keep heavy drinking to a minimum. There is a lot of pressure to get "hammered" this weekend and blow off steam before finals, but don't get out of control. One drink is a 12 oz. beer, a 5 oz. glass of wine or 1.5 oz. of 80-proof distilled liquor, according to the Office of Alcohol and Other Drug Services. The legal limit for intoxication in Connecticut according to the Department of Motor Vehicles is 0.2 or higher. Underage drinkers can expect a fine of $181 for a first offense and $600 or more for a subsequent offence, according to the OAODS. For students who are 21-years of age, a hefty fine can be expected if you provide alcohol to a minor. These are the legal risks of drinking on Spring Weekend and the best way to avoid being caught is to abstain at all costs. As for the health risks, alcohol poisoning can occur if too much is consumed. To stay safe and avoid a trip to the hospital, drink what you can handle. Take your time if you choose to drink, avoid pressurized situations and if you want to stay out of trouble altogether, leave the drinking for those who are 21-years-old or older.
Don't Drive
When so many students are focused on drinking on the weekends, stay safe by arranging a sober ride. Do not, under any circumstances, get in a car if you have been drinking. You can get pulled over and arrested for any level of alcohol in your blood stream. Instead, arrange for a sober ride from one of the many UConn students looking to make a little extra cash. Rides are generally $2-3 per person each way, and students will usually take you anywhere near campus. By taking a sober ride you ensure not only your own safety, but you also protect the other people on the road whose safety you jeopardize by driving under the influence.
Party Wisely
If you are heading out to a party this weekend, do yourself a favor and take proper precautions. Don't accept a drink that you didn't prepare yourself and don't imbibe from open containers. While it has not been reported on UConn's campus, be wary of drugs being slipped into drinks. This goes for any weekend, but with students looking to go crazy before the semester ends you should be additionally cautious. Try to head to the party in a group so that you can take care of each other if the need arises.
Don't be Afraid to Report
If you are the victim of a crime this weekend, do not hesitate to seek help and report it. Call 911 for medical and criminal emergencies. For counseling after a crime, Counseling and Mental Health Services has a hotline that can be reached at 860-486-4705.


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