If you have a child in college and he or she is heading somewhere for Spring Break, it could be an excellent time to remind them about the consequences of criminal activity. Unfortunately, many young people think Spring Break gives people the freedom to do whatever they want, but this is not the case.
In fact, in recent years, some popular Spring Break destinations have started ramping up law enforcement efforts and banning certain activities, like drinking alcohol on beaches, hoping to curb common Spring Break criminal acts.
With this in mind, parents should discuss with kids the following points:
- Actions have consequences, even when you are on vacation. Your child may not have school, family or work responsibilities while traveling, but they still need to be responsible. This means obeying the law. And anyone who fails in this regard can face the consequences, including imprisonment and a stain on their criminal record.
- Every state has different laws. Drug and alcohol use is common among college students on Spring Break, and it may not always be illegal to use either. That said, no matter what the laws may be in a person’s home state or home country regarding drinking age or drug laws, travelers must comply with the laws of the city or country where they are vacationing. Penalties and law enforcement tactics can vary, as well.
- Ramped up enforcement can increase the likelihood of an arrest. Police know that students drink, party, fight and engage in sexual activity during Spring Break. To combat the influx of potential criminal behaviors, many areas increase police presence. Because of this, it can be more likely that police will arrest a person engaging in misconduct.
- Charges can follow you everywhere. Spring Break will end, but criminal charges and penalties can follow a person back home. In some cases, a person may not even be able to go home if they must serve a sentence or appear in court. Back home, a young person could also be dismissed from school or fired from their job. Parents may not trust a child anymore. A student may have to find a way to pay for legal fees, fines and other financial repercussions stemming from a criminal offense.
Reminding young people about these points can help them appreciate the importance of staying safe and avoiding arrest on vacation.