March marks the beginning of spring and the start of school break activities. Families and college students are moving across the nation and the world to reach their Spring Break destinations. A symbol of Spring Break is the consumption of alcohol. It is important to develop safe drinking habits and be informed of the drinking laws in your state.
The state of Texas has a Zero Tolerance Law. This law states that it is a criminal offense for a minor to have any detectable amount of alcohol in their system and operating a motor vehicle. This law extends to purchasing or the attempt to purchase alcohol while underage.
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAA) 85.6 percent of individuals 18 or older have drank alcohol. Those who plan to legally engage in the consumption of alcohol should learn safe drinking habits. Safe drinking habits include eating a full meal before you begin drinking. If you engage in heavy drinking (more than 3 drinks for women, and more than 4 drinks for men) make sure you have chosen a designated driver. Make sure to hydrate(drink water) before drinking, and continue to hydrate between alcoholic beverages. Finally, make sure you are familiar with the MUST HELP acronym for recognizing alcohol poisoning.
If you feel that you or someone you know is experiencing alcohol poisoning, The Texas Poison Center Network is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Underage drinkers (under 21) who know someone that is experiencing alcohol poisoning, do not hesitate to call 911. Underage drinkers who are reporting an alcohol poisoning of another underage individual are given immunity from criminal charges. This law is referred to as the 911 Lifeline policy. You may read more about the origins of this policy in the December 2013 blog entry.
Remember to save the Texas Poison Center Network toll- free number in your phone. You can order magnets, stickers and other materials with the TPCN number here.