Spring Break Safety and Awareness Tips


By Juan Alvarez

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CALLING ALL BEACH-GOERS! If you are like most college students then you crave cool water, an ocean breeze and the warmth of the sun touching your skin. So, naturally, you chose to head to the beach as your ultimate Spring Break destination. Get lit, have fun, but, most importantly, be safe. Here are just a few tips on how to get the most out of Spring Break 2k17 while keeping yourself, your friends, and our marine animal friends safe.

 

1. Carpool and Beach Permits

Just like any great movie, a packed up car with your closest friends is the best way to enjoy a Spring Break adventure. Not only is this a great way to enjoy friends but also a super great way to save money on gas by splitting the cost among everyone going. A $30 fill-up split five ways is $6 per person – honestly what a steal!

 

Secondly, in the state of Texas for most public beaches a beach permit is required. Beach permits are required for parking on the beach and they are only $12 and good for the entire year, so you can leave it on your car window and be set for the summer. Now, just because you are no longer in Austin doesn’t mean you don’t have to worry about parking tickets, tow trucks, and boots, because by not using the beach permit you will be fined and can be towed. You can pick up most beach permits at convenience stores closest to the beach you are going to.

 

 

 

2. Drink Responsibly

We all should know that to drink alcohol you have to be 21 and over. Remember this phrase, “21 and over or you better be sober.” A minor caught in possession of drugs or alcohol will receive an MIP and this can detrimentally affect your college careers, especially with financial aid.

 

As a legal adult you have the responsibility to control your alcohol intake and understand most beaches follow the open container law. Which basically means you cannot walk around the beach drinking a Bud Light out of the can; however, you can walk around the beach with Bud Light poured in a red Solo Cup. With that being said, if asked by a police officer to show prove of age, you better have an authentic state issued ID to verify you are of legal age to drink.

 

Also, public intoxication is a crime. To be overly drunk in public you can create a nuisance for beach-goers of all ages. And, morally, you should not want to display yourself in such a manner. Public intoxication is generally a Class C misdemeanor offense, which can result in payment of a fine up to $500. Normally, this degree of offense is punishable by fine up to $2,000 and/or a jail sentence up to 180 days.

 

Lastly, DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE IN ANY SITUATION. Always have a sober person, though this isn’t the most fun part but lives are literally on the line.

 

3. Keep it Clean

Guys and gals, beaches are beautiful and everyone should do their part in keeping Texas beaches clean. Always remember to clean up after yourself and dispose of every item, paper, cans and anything that could possibly affect the marine ecosystem in a detrimental way. Always remember we have one planet Earth and we should love and respect it, especially if you wish to continue visiting beaches for Spring Break.

 

Always keep in mind our friends in the water. If you see a can in the sand, be a good Samaritan and pick it up and throw it away. Even if the mess is not yours, this beach also is not yours so do your part in preserving our wildlife.

 

 

4. Love your body

Embrace your swimsuit and work it! Spring break is a time to pull out those cute bikinis and swim trunks and strut your stuff.  “Beach bodies” do not exist. A sexy “beach body” is one that exemplifies confidence. Love yourself and do not let anyone degrade your beauty.

 

Beads are a big part of Spring Break, but you are not obligated to even have one necklace of beads. Regardless of if you step in a box drawn in the sand, you are not obligated to “flash” anyone or do body shots. Respect yourself and love yourself. If you are uncomfortable and you feel like anyone is forcing you to do something, call 911 or anyone close by to help.

 

5. CALL 911

In case of an emergency situation do not ever be afraid to call 911. If you have a feeling like someone is in a life-threatening situation like alcohol poisoning or a car accident, you are not a snake for calling for help. The Medical Amnesty policy was implemented so that citizens are not afraid to ask for medical help whenever they are doing illegal activities. For example, in a situation that needs immediate medical attention while underage drinking is involved, the minors have the right to call for help and not be penalized for it. This is not to encourage underage drinking but instead to encourage minors to seek emergency aid rather than be discouraged for fear of getting in trouble.

 

 

 

Hopefully your spring break adventures are LIT. Celebrate the success of getting through midterms, but also remember to be safe and keep these tips in mind. Also, never forget everything you do represents UT, so if you clean up the beach, you make this university look great, but if you mess up then the opposite happens. HAPPY SPRING BREAK 2K17!