Attending Parties

Attending Parties in Lincoln Neighborhoods:  How to keep a good night from ending in a nightmare

Nightmare #1: I get a police citation

YOUR BEST BET: If the police break up the party, COOPERATE. If they ask you to leave, then leave but USE A DESIGNATED DRIVER because the police can stop you and test you for legal intoxication. Limit your alcohol consumption. If a party looks like it's getting out of hand (noise, number of people, aggression, drunks) then you probably want to leave before the police arrive. Be aware of what IS and IS NOT the property you are visiting. Destroying or mistreating a neighbor's property is the quickest way to get police at a party. Avoid parties at "notorious" party houses as they are monitored by the police and are more likely to be broken up. Always cooperate with a police officer at a party. Most citations occur when partiers hang around a party or give police a hard time.

Nightmare #2: I get dangerously intoxicated

ALCOHOL POISONING kills college students every year. Thousands more get hurt or injured because of acute intoxication. Parties are the place where most serious alcohol poisoning occurs for lots of reasons -- cups make it tough to count drinks, no one knows what is in the punch, and there's no one monitoring your drinking or behavior like in a bar.

YOUR BEST BET: Limit your alcohol consumption. Make a decision BEFORE the party about how much you plan to drink. Count your drinks once at the party. GO WITH A FRIEND who can keep watch with you and take you home when you've had too much. Know the signs of acute intoxication -- if someone is unconscious or semiconscious, has 8 or fewer breaths per minute and 8 or more seconds between breaths, or has cold, clammy or bluish skin, call 911 immediately. ALWAYS KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DRINKING and HOW MUCH you've consumed. Avoid drinking games, funnels, and other activities that get you drunk fast with little to show for it. Don't attend parties at the houses of people you don't know. The bigger the party, the more likely things will get out of control.

Nightmare #3: I get sexually or physically assaulted

90% of all sexual assaults are alcohol-related. Most physical assaults are also fuelled by alcohol. It's easy to figure out why. The key is to figure out how not to be the next victim.

YOUR BEST BET: WATCH for emerging fights and drunken stunts, especially as people consume more alcohol. It's okay to CALL THE POLICE on a party you're attending if things get out of hand. If someone gets angry, the best thing to do is to avoid violence, especially if they've been drinking. Don't try to win the fight. Keep your voice calm and conversational and keep yourself at eye level. GO WITH A FRIEND who can watch out for you and get you out of an awkward, dangerous, or compromising interaction. Have a CODE word or action to let your friend know you're in trouble. Stay in the main area of the party and avoid going to private rooms or other places. Limit your alcohol consumption. NEVER accept a drink from someone you do not know, or drink something that has no clear indication of the alcohol content. LEAVE the party BEFORE things get out of hand. Be clear about what your social and sexual goals are for the evening.

Nightmare #4: I wind up at DETOX

It's not against the law to be drunk in Nebraska. Police can, however, decide to place you in "Protective Custody" if they believe that you are intoxicated to the point of being a harm to yourself or to others. In Lincoln, Cornhusker Place, Inc. serves as the city and county's detoxification center for those placed in protective custody. The law allows them to keep you in detox for up to 24 hours; although a responsible party can be called to "claim" you, Cornhusker Place, Inc. staff can refuse to release you to someone for a variety of reasons. Most students who have gone to detox never let themselves get so drunk that they wind up there again.

YOUR BEST BET: If police come and break up the party, cooperate with them. If you appear to be out of control, you've just provided the reason for placing you in protective custody. Space your drinks so that you don't get over-intoxicated. Ask a sober friend to drive you home. Avoid drinking games or other fast-drinking activities that take you out of control. Have a friend keep tabs on you. Leave the party before things get out of control. Know that your parents may get a call (and a bill) from Cornhusker Place, Inc. if you are underage.