Ah! It’s finally spring break! Time to put the pressures of the semester behind you and have some fun with your friends!
Many high school and college students get a week off from school sometime during March or April. An increasing number of students travel to fun destinations in the sun for spring break such as Miami, Panama City Beach, Cancun, or the Jersey Shore, looking for a reprieve from their studies and a time to break loose and cram as much fun in possible before they return to school for the semester. Spring break is a huge industry. In 2017, more than half of the nation’s 20.9 million college students were expected to travel for spring break, spending an estimated $1.8 billion.
Not only has spring break become a cultural “rite of passage” but also it boosts revenue for travel and hospitality industries in the United States. While it should be a time to relax and have fun, it is important to be aware that spring break is also unfortunately a time where we see increased accidents and arrests.
Here are some tips to help keep you safe and out of trouble this spring break:
- Do not drink and drive: The legal limit for drivers of legal drinking age (21 and over) is a blood alcohol concentration of .08%. We recommend that you don’t drive at all if you have had anything to drink. The police will be out in full force during spring break looking for people driving under the influence and setting up sobriety checkpoints on the roadways throughout popular spring break destinations. Rather than drive, call a cab or Uber/Lyft. While Uber/Lyft may be more expensive than normal during spring break due to increased demand, you can’t put a price on your safety. Moreover, the cost of a cab or using Uber/Lyft is significantly lower than the cost of getting a DUI, where you can expect to pay $10,000 or more in penalties, court fees, and legal fees. Also, in the event that you meet with an accident, you should immediately contact your family members along with a lawyer like the ones at Las Vegas Car Accident Lawyer, to help you. In these serious situations, a professional help could be considered invaluable.
- Don’t drink and boat, snorkel, tube, parasail, and etc.: Spring break is an opportune time to try out lots of fun activities such as boating, snorkeling, scuba diving, parasailing, tubing, jet skiing, and waterskiing just to name a few. Don’t try any of these activities if you’ve been drinking as it increases the chances of having a problem or accident. You’ll need your wits about you and full focus and coordination to safely participate in these activities and drinking alcohol slows down your reaction time, decreases your coordination, and causes impaired judgment. Accordingly, we recommend you abstain from drinking while participating in any of these activities over spring break or anytime of the year.
- If driving to your destination, heed these safe driving tips:
- Make sure that your car is ready for the drive. Prior to driving to your spring break destination, you should check your headlights, brake lights, oil levels, wiper blades, antifreeze, wiper fluid, tire pressure, belts, and hoses.
- Plan out your drive ahead of time. Plan out directions and your route before you get in the car. Remember that smartphone/GPS/iMaps/Google Maps directions are not always correct and you should double-check them before getting on the road. For long drives, you should also plan out breaks, food and gas stops, bathroom stops, and overnight lodging options.
- Don’t drive if you are sleep-deprived.
- Don’t use your phone (this includes refraining from texting) while operating a vehicle.
- Don’t pick up hitchhikers.
- Choose a hotel room on a strategic floor: If possible, do not book a hotel room on the first floor. First floor rooms are most susceptible to getting broken into because of their easy access. However, we’ve also seen way too many tragedies happen across the country where spring breakers fall to their death or catastrophic injury from a balcony of a higher-floor hotel room. If your hotel room has a balcony, it may be safest to pick one on the second or third floor.
- Practice sun safety: Don’t get burned this spring break! Ensure safe, fun in the sun by following these sun safety tips:
- When you are out in the sun, use a broad-spectrum sunscreen of at least 30SPF and reapply at least every 2 hours and after getting wet.
- Wear protective clothing such as a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses that block at least 99% of UV light, and a rash guard/sun shirt over your bathing suit.
- Limit your alcohol consumption while out in the sun. You should be aware that the heat and sun exposure amplify the effects of alcohol, which can make you more prone to heat illness, accidents, and alcohol poisoning.
- Stay hydrated by drinking lots of water. Know the warning signs of dehydration, heat illness, alcohol poisoning, and severe sunburns.
- Utilize the buddy system: Watch out for your friends and make sure they watch out for you. Don’t leave without accounting for everyone you went out with. If you realize someone is missing from your group, immediately try to contact them. You and your friends should make a predetermined plan about what to do if someone gets separated from the group.
Here at the Law Office of Eric M. Mark, we sincerely hope you have a fun and safe spring break. However, should you get in trouble with the law over spring break, keep in mind that we are here for you.
As both a seasoned criminal defense attorney and DWI attorney, I have extensive, first-hand experience defending my clients in a range of criminal and traffic-related matters in the New Jersey court system including but not limited to public intoxication, DWI, underage drinking, assault defense, drug crime and drug possession defense.
To schedule your free consultation with a criminal defense lawyer or a DWI & traffic defense lawyer at the Law Office of Eric M. Mark in Jersey City, NJ and Newark, NJ, call 973-453-2009 or contact us online here.