by Joy Spencer
Spring Break has arrived!
Whether you plan to stay in town or take off for some fun destination during the break, it is important to keep safety in mind. Thinking about safety may seem like common sense, but when you add alcohol it is easy to get caught up in the craziness and excitement and make poor decisions.
If you are faced with the temptation to drink alcohol and “party,” don’t forget that:
- There are stiff legal penalties for consuming alcohol if you under the legal drinking age of 21.
- Alcohol use could result in spending spring break in the ER, hospital or morgue, or a criminal record.
- Alcohol use can also lead to unplanned parenthood, sexually transmitted infection and disease.
- Aspirin isn’t a magic pill.
- According to a study by the American Medical Association, taking aspirin before drinking does not prevent hangovers. In fact, aspirin lowers the rate at which your body metabolizes alcohol. As a result, the effects of alcohol last longer and you may end up with a worse hangover in the morning.
- Friends don't let friends sleep it off.
- If your friends are too intoxicated, don’t leave them unattended.
- Alcohol poisoning is a serious danger when consuming alcohol in excess. If someone who is drunk passes out, they’re less likely to be awakened by their need to vomit. You should seek professional help immediately, if someone becomes unresponsive.
Alcohol retailers also play an important role
What can you do? Make sure your staff are properly trained to ID or “card” those purchasing alcohol.See a sample of a standard Oregon Driver License for a driver under the age of 21
Also, if you suspect someone is purchasing alcohol for someone under the legal drinking age of 21, refuse the sale.
Reminders for parents
Oregon law prohibits anyone, except a parent or legal guardian, from providing alcohol to a minor or juvenile. A minor is any person under the age of 21 and a juvenile is any person under the age of 18. Parents or guardians may legally provide alcohol to their minor child or ward and only in a private residence when accompanying their minor child. A parent cannot transfer this responsibility to another adult or provide alcohol in a public place.
If you allow your property and/or home to be used for a party where minors, other than your minor child(ren), consume alcohol in your presence, you may have to forfeit property and may be issued a criminal citation.
If your child is traveling away from home for Spring Break, make sure you have the information you need to keep them safe. Here are some questions you should be asking yourself before your child travels:
- Have you talked with your teens about underage drinking and its consequences?
- Are YOU aware of the penalties and consequences of underage drinking?
- Do you know where your teen is going and who they are going with?
- Is there an adult chaperone?
- Do you have contact information for your child and the parents of who they are traveling with?
- Can your child reach you if they need your guidance or help?
And, if you hear of kids planning to party with alcohol, call the OLCC at 503-872-5070 or 800-452-OLCC (6522).