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Fun college outings could also pose safety, legal risks

As a Maryland college student, you likely want to get the most out of your experience, which may include being away from home and your parents for the first time. You may find yourself joining clubs, going to on-campus events or even socializing off campus. Of course, it is important to remember to stay as safe as possible at all times.

Once you reach the legal age, going out to bars or clubs may become a common activity for you and your friends. However, these establishments can sometimes become rowdy, and it is not unusual for suspicious activities to take place.

Staying safe while out

Though you undoubtedly want to have fun while going out, you also want to keep your safety a top priority. Some safety tips to take into consideration include the following:

  • Keep your beverages with you or with a trusted person if you must leave it. Too often, unscrupulous individuals try to spike drinks with harmful substances.
  • Keep any items or accessories you bring to a minimum. If you bring a large bag or many items, it may be easier for someone to steal from you, especially in crowded places.
  • Avoid going out by yourself. You increase your chances of a safe outing by going with a group and regularly checking in with each other.
  • Stay hydrated. Though you may think it adequate to continue drinking alcoholic beverages, water is still vital to maintain your body's hydration.
  • Have a plan for getting home safely. This plan may include having a taxi service number in your phone, having a designated driver among your friend group, and declining rides from strangers or those who have been drinking.

In addition to keeping your safety in mind, it is also wise to remember that certain actions could land you in legal trouble if authorities suspect you of criminal activity. These suspicions could relate to drug activity, driving under the influence, underage drinking or other activities that are not uncommon at club scenes.

If police do question you…

If you do draw the attention of authorities for whatever reason, you may want to remember your legal rights. While providing your name and identification is typically mandatory, you do have the right to remain silent when questioned about your activities. In the event that you are taken into custody and charged, remember that you also have the right to an attorney.

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