UTEP police hosts alcohol awareness week leading up to spring break

Graphic+by+Hugo+Hinojosa

Graphic by Hugo Hinojosa

Katrina Villarreal , Contributor

UTEP police department raised alcohol awareness among students amid spring break through virtual informational meetings March 812.  

 “Just the Facts” was a discussion  led by Sarah Sanchez from the UTEP police department on March 9 and March 11,  to explain  how alcohol affects the brain and the body, and the best methods to safely consume alcohol during spring break. 

 According to Sanchez, one in four students have expressed  alcohol interferes with their academic life such as grades and attendance. About 696,000 students have been assaulted by a student who has been drinking and 1,825 college students, between the ages of 18 and 24, have died from alcohol-related injuries, including  car accidents, drowning, alcohol poisoning, and motor-vehicle crashes.  

 Sanchez advised students to call 911 for immediate help in case of an incident at a party or bar where someone passes out.  

 “There’s actually a Lifeline Law in Texas that protects you if you are a minor and you do the right thing,” Sanchez said. “So, if your friend passes out because they’re drunk, you dial 911 and you request medical assistance, you stay on the scene and you cooperate with medical and law enforcement, you are actually protected and will not be cited because you did do the right thing. 

 People can have different reactions when consuming alcohol, for some it could slow down the functions of their body, but for others, it could heighten defenses or emotions. Due to alcohol causing some heightened defenses, it is one of the reasons for the various forms of assault people, Sanchez said. 

 “Alcohol actually affects the way that your brain thinks,” Sanchez said. “It’s considered a drug, but it is actually decriminalized, you’re over the age of 21 you can buy it.” 

 For beer, the standard drinking  is 12 fl oz and 5% of alcohol, malt liquor is 8-9 fl oz and 7% alcohol, wine is 5 fl oz and 12% alcohol, and a  shot of distilled spirits is 1.5 fl oz with 40% alcohol.  

 “You need to be aware of your standard drink size,” Sanchez said. “If you are driving home or if you’re thinking ‘I haven’t been drinking much,’ reconsider it because if you have a 16 oz beer then technically it’s a beer and a half.”  

The legal alcohol limit in Texas is 0.08%, with 0.45% and over  considered an alcohol overdose. Lauren Morrison coordinator of UTEP’s Miner Canyon, explained  the policy Housing and Residence Life has on having or consuming alcohol within its facilities“You can have alcohol if you are of age,” Morrison said. People drinking can have it in their individual bedroom.  

 According to Morrison, if everyone within the apartment is of age, alcohol  can be stored  in the fridge or be out on  the counterIf somebody is underage in the apartment, alcohol can only be in a person’s individual bedroom.  

 With UTEP’s spring break set to last March 15-19,, Sanchez warned attendees about the dangers of drink tampering. Students should make sure to watch when their drink is being made, not leave their drink unattended, and stop drinking and let someone know if their beverage tastes weird.  

 “There are drugs out there that can make you ill, lose your speech, your ability to walk, and your ability to do anything,” Sanchez said. It’s safer for you to say, ‘Hey, that drink didn’t taste good I’m going to put it down,’ and let somebody know so that they can watch out for you. 

 UTEP police is available at (915) 747-5611. 

 Katrina Villarreal may be reached at [email protected]