In the coming weeks, teenagers and college students across Tennessee will be enjoying a week off from school for spring break.
As fun and relaxing as this time should be for students, it can quickly become a nightmare for any young person charged with one of the following criminal offenses.
Drinking is a common factor during spring break, especially when young people are away from their parents. When young people drink, they can be at a higher risk of getting arrested for:
- Underage drinking
- Drunk driving
- Public intoxication
They can also be in danger of blacking out and suffering alcohol poisoning. To keep your kids safer, talk to them about alcohol. Explain the health risks of binge drinking and the legal consequences of an arrest, including license suspension, incarceration and possible academic penalties. And remind them that they should always get a sober ride home.
Assault and violence
The combination of alcohol, lack of supervision and the desire to blow off steam can be dangerous. During spring break, young people can get into fights or engage in unwanted sexual activity.
These offenses can have life-long ramifications if they end with fatal injuries or sexual assault allegations. Again, talk to your child about the risks of these events. Help them understand safe ways of dealing with conflict and the importance of consent. A single decision made out of impairment or aggression can cost young people their freedom, future and reputation.
Students who are in a new place, partying with countless other people and looking to celebrate, can be tempted to use marijuana, cocaine, MDMA and other drugs. However, using illicit drugs is one of the most common regrets students have on spring break, according to this survey.
Using or possessing illicit drugs is illegal, and law enforcement agencies are highly motivated to crack down on anyone caught with drugs. Further, drug use can lead to ongoing drug problems and impair a person’s decision-making skills.
As a parent, you may not want to believe that your child will engage in these or other types of dangerous, illegal activity on spring break. But ignoring the possibility will make it go away.
Instead, talk to your children. Put this week in perspective for them: The vacation will end, but the consequences of engaging in unlawful behaviors can last a lifetime.