Drinking safety: How much is too much?

Parties and bars are age-old pastimes for college kids, but there are some things you should know about alcohol before you decide to hit the town.

First, most freshmen are underage and can’t legally drink alcohol in the state of Ohio. If you do decide to imbibe while in college, be sure you understand the

serious consequences you may experience if you get caught.


It’s easy to lose sight of the “real world” at college, but drinking underage — on or off campus — comes with very real consequences.

First, be familiar with your university alcohol policy. Every college differs in the severity of repercussions, but every one will take disciplinary action. This may include parental notification, community service, alcohol-education classes, probation and, in more serious circumstances, exclusion from areas of campus, suspension or expulsion.

It’s important to remember you are subject to state laws too. In more extreme situations, local police will become involved in an alcohol misconduct case and you could face legal consequences.

Finally, consider that most universities have a Good Samaritan provision, which means that no student who seeks or assists another student in getting medical attention for severe intoxication will be subject to serious disciplinary action. Be careful though, this does not exempt you from facing basic repercussions, such as alcohol class and counseling. There often is a hefty hospital fee, too.


Follow these tips to keep you safe when you go to a college party.

• Don’t go out alone; go out with friends.

• Get your own drinks; you shouldn’t drink anything when you don’t know where it came from.

• Don’t set your drink down and if you do, go get a new one. Someone could have slipped something into it while you weren’t looking.

• Set a fixed number of drinks you plan to have that night and stick to it.

• Know the game plan for the night; make sure you have somewhere to stay if you have too much to drink.

• Keep a local cab company’s number in your phone and cash in your pocket in case you need a ride home that night.

• Keep an eye out for your friends. If you think your friend has had too much to drink, make sure he or she doesn’t accept more drinks.

• Don’t take part in drinking contests.

• Drink slowly; pace yourself.

• Don’t mix alcohol with any other drugs, including prescription medications.

• Eat before you drink.

• Drink water in between alcoholic beverages.