Baton Rouge is arguably one of the biggest “college cities” in the state of Louisiana, all because of LSU – a university with more than 37,000 students enrolled in 2022. College life in Baton Rouge is characterized by a vibrant social scene – fall football games, Greek life, parties, and more. For many LSU students, attending tailgate parties and Greek life parties are an integral part of their overall college experience. While attending parties is just a normal part of college, parties can also pose significant risks if safety precautions are not taken seriously. The allure of college parties for young people can sometimes overshadow the potential dangers, especially when alcohol use and substance use are involved, leading to major personal injuries and even criminal behavior. Below, our legal team breaks down the top college party safety tips of Baton Rouge students, so that they can have fun while staying safe and following the law.
The Law Offices of Ossie Brown is one of the top personal injury and criminal defense law firms in Baton Rouge. Our experienced personal injury attorneys can help injured victims recover fair compensation for car accidents, truck accidents, pedestrian accidents, premises liability violations, and so much more.
Additionally, our legal team has the skill and experience necessary to defend those facing DUI charges, sex crimes, theft crimes, drug crimes, violent crimes, and so much more. Call 225-343-1111 to schedule a free consultation at our law firm today.
What Are The Dangers of College Parties?
College parties can easily toe the line between innocent fun and dangerous, criminal behavior, especially because alcohol and illicit drugs are usually involved. At the height of party season in Baton Rouge, our local police station and healthcare professionals can become bombarded with injured, assaulted, or alcohol poisoned college students.
Here are just a few of the top dangers associated with college partying:
- Substance Abuse: College parties often involve the consumption of alcohol and, in some cases, dangerous substances. Excessive drinking or experimenting with drugs can lead to serious health issues, alcohol problems, drug addiction, or even overdose.
- Sexual Assault: The prevalence of sexual assault at college parties is an alarming and very underreported issue. The combination of alcohol, crowded spaces, and unfamiliar faces can make students vulnerable to unwanted advances or non-consensual encounters.
- Accidents and Injuries: Crowded venues, poor lighting, and rowdy behavior can result in a variety of accidents and injuries. Slip-and-fall accidents, fights, hazing incidents, and falls from elevated surfaces are not uncommon in the Baton Rouge college scene.
- Theft and Property Damage: Large gatherings can attract opportunistic thieves, and your belongings may be at risk if you’re not cautious. Additionally, rowdy behavior can lead to property damage or vandalism.
- Legal Consequences: College parties that involve underage drinking or illicit substances can have serious legal repercussions. Arrests, fines, and disciplinary actions from the university can derail your academic career.
- Drunk Driving and Car Accidents: Even today with the popularity of rideshare services and the social norm of always having a “DD,” intoxicated people will still get behind the wheel. Depending on how much alcohol the person has had, they can easily cause a fatal car accident. Unfortunately, DUIs and catastrophic drunk driving accidents are very common in big college cities like Baton Rouge.
The statistics regarding alcohol-related injuries, assaults, and deaths in the United States among college aged kids each year are staggering, to say the least. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), approximately 1,500 college students die due to unintentional accidents related to alcohol, and nearly 700,000 students are assaulted or injured each year by someone who has had too much to drink.
Tips For Partying Safely in College
Despite the unfortunate dangers and accidents that often accompany college parties, it’s still very possible to go out, have a drink with friends, and stay safe while doing so. Below, our legal team offers the top college party safety tips so that you can return to your dorm unharmed, and without criminal charges.
Eat Food and Drink Water Beforehand
One of the fundamental steps in partying safely is to start the night with a comfortably full stomach before you start drinking. Consuming alcohol on an empty stomach is the equivalent of playing with fire.
Eating a balanced meal before drinking can help slow alcohol absorption, reducing the risk of alcohol poisoning. Be sure to also drink plenty of water before consuming alcoholic drinks (as well as throughout the night) to reduce the negative effects of alcohol consumption such as grogginess, dehydration, and dreaded hangovers.
Don’t Leave Your Drink Unattended
Leaving your drink unattended, even briefly, can create the perfect opportunity for someone to slip a drug into it, such as Rohypnol – the date rape drug. Always keep an eye on your beverage. If you must step away, finish it or get a new one when you return. It’s better to waste a drink than risk your safety.
Don’t Accept Drinks or Substances From Strangers
As a standard rule of thumb, always drink your own drinks.
Accepting drinks, substances, or any form of medication from strangers at parties can be incredibly dangerous, and even fatal. Even if it seems like a friendly gesture, you should never ingest anything that you didn’t ask for or prepare yourself. Substances can be laced with illicit drugs or incapacitating agents. When you mix alcohol with some types of drugs, you can easily become ill or taken advantage of.
Know Your Alcohol Limits
Understanding your own tolerance for alcohol is crucial. Only you know exactly how alcohol affects your body, behaviors, and level of self-control. Avoid drinking games, which can easily lead to binge drinking, and set a drink limit for yourself before the party. Staying within your drinks limit will help you remain in control and make responsible decisions throughout the night.
Additionally, be sure to space your drinks out so that you can monitor how you’re feeling, and stop before you get too drunk. A good rule of thumb is one drink per hour. In between drinks, it’s a good idea to drink a glass of water.
Lastly, keep track of the number of alcoholic drinks you consume and know when to switch to non-alcoholic drinks.
Don’t Succumb to Peer Pressure
Peer pressure can be strong at college parties, especially if friends or acquaintances encourage you to drink more than you’re comfortable with or to engage in risky behaviors, like substance use. Remember that it’s perfectly acceptable to say no and prioritize your own safety and well-being over fitting in and drinking alcohol until you’re sick or unconscious.
Always Party With a Friend
Partying with a friend provides an extra layer of security. You can look out for each other, make sure both of you get home safely, and intervene if either of you begin to feel unsafe. Establish a clear plan to stay together and communicate with each other throughout the night.
Keep Your Phone Charged
A charged phone is your lifeline in case of emergencies. Ensure your phone is fully charged before heading to a party and consider carrying a portable charger. Make sure you have all important contacts in your phone that you may need, such as friends, family, and local rideshare services.
Bring Essential Items
When attending a college party, pack essential items such as your phone, ID card, a small amount of cash, and any necessary medications. It’s also wise to carry a physical or digital copy of your emergency contact information.
Don’t Walk Alone in the Dark
After leaving a party, avoid walking alone in poorly lit or unfamiliar areas, especially at night. Walking alone in the dark after drinking too much alcohol is literally a recipe for disaster.
Instead, use well-lit and populated routes or arrange for a trusted friend, rideshare service, or campus security to get you home safely.
Have a Designated Driver or Use a Rideshare Service
If you plan on drinking alcohol at a party, ensure you have a safe way to get home through a DD (designated driver) or a rideshare service.
Even if you’ve only had one drink, it’s never a good idea to get behind the wheel. Tipsy and drunk driving results in countless DUI arrests and charges, as well as catastrophic injuries and wrongful deaths every single year. Your safest bet is to stay sober, get a trusted designated driver, or call an Uber or Lyft at the end of a party.
Call The Law Offices of Ossie Brown Today
If you’re facing criminal charges after drinking alcohol or dabbling in illicit substances at a college party, it’s crucial to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney at the Law Offices of Ossie Brown. Our attorneys have decades of combined experience in handling DUI cases, sex crime cases, aggravated assault cases, and so much more. Our legal team can defend your legal rights and help you obtain the best possible case outcome.
Our legal team is also fully equipped to handle personal injury claims such as car accidents, slip and falls, pedestrian accidents, and more. Call 225-343-1111 to schedule a free consultation at the Law Offices of Ossie Brown today.