College Students head to beaches to party for Spring Break
Spring break for college students no longer holds a trip to grandma’s house or working an extra shift at the pizzeria. In the last few years thousands of students have instead headed to the beach for a not so innocent respite from the rigors of the college grind, one that is potentially life-threatening for many students.
Unfortunately, spring break has become a week long party in several beach spots around the country including South Padre Island, Texas, and multiple beaches throughout Florida. What’s even worse is some companies have been accused of promoting heavy drinking and sex. Unfortunately, many parents seem completely unaware that tour companies market spring break destinations directly to college students.
What are some of the greatest concern of parents?
In a recent a recent “Matters of Degree” poll the following was reported:
- More than 80 percent of parents said they were concerned about college students drinking alcohol during spring break.
- Eighty-eight percent of parents said they think that spring break is primarily a problem of underage drinking, because many college students are younger than the legal drinking age of 21, and 61 percent believe that underage students are more likely to drink than 21-year-olds.
- 77 percent of adults and 68 percent of parents say that alcohol companies are using spring break in Mexico to introduce underage students to their products.
- The beer and liquor industries say that they are not promoting underage drinking by encouraging alcohol use at spring break locations in Mexico, but 64 percent of parents agree that this practice takes advantage of American youth under 21 and influences them to drink.
(Information provided from the “Matters of Degree Poll” which surveyed 500 parents)
The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) has set up programs to specifically target some of the most popular Spring Break hot spots. According to the DPS, the patrols will target high risk areas and increase their visibility in certain locations.
Even with increased effort to help kids avoid dangerous decisions and senseless tragedy the police admit that too often students are choosing to drink and drive, which is very dangerous. According to DPS Director Steven McCraw, “Getting impaired drivers off the roads during Spring Break is a major priority for the department, and we also urge the public to make responsible decisions, such as designating a non-drinking driver or finding alternative transportation if they are impaired.”
Last year in Texas, the DPS made more than 1,000 drunk driving arrests. They also gave 9,400 speeding citations, 1,500 seat belt/child safety seat tickets and 12,500 other citations. In addition, troopers made 545 fugitive arrests and 402 felony arrests during routine patrol operations. (Statistics provided by the Department of Public Safety in Texas)
Keep in mind, many of the students heading to the beaches are less than the legal drinking age and can be arrested for DWI with less than the legal limit of alcohol for adults, which is currently 0.08% for adults 21 and over. If you are a student you can be arrested for DWI with any amount of detectable alcohol in your system.
The DPS offered students a variety of safety tips for Spring Break:
- Slow down
- Put the cell phone down
- Buckle your seat belt
- Don’t drive if you are tired
- Don’t drink and drive
- Avoid travel to Mexico
Making safe choices can ensure your Spring Break is danger free.
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