Be smart, be safe for spring break
Feb 25, 2013
By Andrew Powers, chief, Ohio University Police Department
Spring Break should be fun and enjoyable, but it is also a time when students can be vulnerable. Here are a few tips to help plan a safe trip and reduce the chance of becoming a victim of crime:
When leaving your residence in Athens, be sure to follow the same precautions you followed before winter break. A summary of those tips is available here.
- Plan a sensible travel schedule and divide the driving among your friends.
- Ensure that everyone has had adequate rest before getting behind the wheel.
- The person riding “shotgun” should stay awake to keep the driver company.
- Everyone should have a valid driver's license and the car should have a valid registration, with proof of current insurance, in the glove box.
- Make sure the car is serviced and inspected before departing.
- Print a copy of the driving route in case your GPS fails or you lose cellular service.
At the hotel
- Check the room and ensure all door locks and window latches work.
- Place valuables out of sight when leaving the room.
- Use the peephole before opening the door and use the chain or other restrictive device when opening the door to a stranger.
- Secure the room before leaving it.
- Get some sleep during spring break; alcohol leaves the body more slowly when you are sleep deprived.
- Go with friends and leave with friends; plan a safe way home before partying.
- Know and abide by local liquor laws, including the drinking age and laws governing open containers.
- Pace your alcohol consumption, eat high protein food, avoid carbonated mixers, and drink water.
- Avoid drinking alcohol in a hot tub—the hot water exacerbates the effects of alcohol, which can lead to drowning.
- Only drink from sealed containers (individual cans or bottles) or drinks mixed by a legitimate bartender. Don’t leave open drinks unattended, and be alert for the effects of predatory drugs: sudden onset of wooziness or sleepiness, blurred vision, slurred speech, and difficulty balancing.
- If you feel unwell or overly intoxicated, find a friend and go back to the hotel. If you see a friend in an unsafe condition, be a friend and take him/her back to the hotel.
Preventing sexual assault is everyone’s responsibility!
- Set your own boundaries for sexual activity and don’t feel pressured to exceed them. Likewise, respect other people’s boundaries and don’t try to push someone further than they feel comfortable.
- Communicate—say what you mean, mean what you say, and remember that "no" means "no."
- Having sex with someone who is obviously unable to give consent is a crime.