It’s Cruise Nite – Have Fun and Stay Safe
It’s Cruise Nite week in Kearney and that means classic cars and big crowds. It’s a great week to celebrate the height of summer with family and friends, to relax, have some great food and take in the events that Cruise Nite offers. But with the crowds and the all that come with it, we also want to remind you to be safe out there this week.
Cruise Nite can be a great event, but it does come with its risks. Alcohol consumption tends to increase during this week in Kearney as people, both locals and guests, partake of the celebration. One of the dangers is simply the risk of drinking too much, or binge drinking. In addition to the physical risks, binge drinking also can lead to other problems. Once you’ve had too much to drink, you tend to not make the best decisions. The lack of clear decision making leads to DUIs, personal conflict and physical fights, and higher levels of other crimes. Just a quick look at the news stories from past Cruise Nites in 2014 and 2013 let you know that our town is a little less safe this week than normal.
Another side effect of binge drinking is lowered inhibitions. This mixed with the diminished ability to make good decisions can often lead to not only increased sexual activity that you would not normally engage in, but also sexual assault.
In fact, according to this Campus Safety article:
- 43% of sexual assaults involve alcohol consumption by the victims and 69% involve alcohol by the perpetrators.
- 90% of acquaintance rapes involve alcohol.
You’re probably familiar with the horrific story of the Stanford rape case this spring. Everyone thinks something like this will never happen to them, but it can. There are some things you can to to minimize your risk though we’ll talk about those later.
And even if you aren’t drinking, you can still be affected. Just being around others who are drinking excessive amounts of alcohol increases your risk when it comes to assault or being involved in an accident.
As we mentioned, when inhibitions are decreased, sexual activity often increases. You may find yourself hooking up with someone that under sober circumstances you never would. Bottom line, sex involving alcohol increases your risks. You may not take the precautions you normally would, or you may engage in riskier types of sexual activity. These not only expose you to a potential unexpected pregnancy, but also in increased risk of STDs.
We’re sharing this info not just to scare you, but because we want you to be safe, to have a great Cruise Nite week, and to look back with no regrets next week and next month.
So if you’re going to be drinking, or even be around people who are, here are a few things to help you have a great Cruise Nite experience and minimize the risks associated with alcohol.
- If you’re drinking don’t drive.
- Eat – before and during the party.
- Don’t go out alone – go with friends. Have each other’s back and keep them out of dangerous situations.
- Always let someone who isn’t going with you know where you’ll be and when you’ll be back.
- Stay with a group – don’t get caught in an isolated or dimly lit area.
- Set a limit before you head to the party and stick to it – you saw the stats above, don’t become one of them.
- Avoid drinking games – seriously, you’ll thank us later. Sip your drink, it’s not a race.
- Know when to stop, even if it’s before the limit you set.
- Watch your drinks being poured so you know how much alcohol is really in it.
- Drink something other than alcohol during the party – water is a good option.
- Beware of unfamiliar drinks and don’t take a drink from anyone.
- Keep your drink in your possession at all times and keep your cup covered to avoid having something slipped in it.
- Alcohol and sex don’t mix – drunk sex isn’t good sex, and it’s not consensual sex.
- Be careful what you combine – most drugs and alcohol don’t mix well.
- Trust your instincts when they tell you something is wrong. If you’re not comfortable there is a reason. Get away and let your friends know what is going on.
If you find yourself in a situation where you’ve been sexually assaulted, contact the police immediately. Also, the Family Advocacy Network is a good resource if you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual assault.
If you had sex and think you might be pregnant or may have contracted a STD, Collage offers pregnancy testing and confirmation as well as STD testing and treatment at no cost. Or, maybe you just have questions and need someone to talk with. We’re here for that as well, and you can contact us at 308.234.9880 in Kearney, 308.675.2217 in Grand Island, via email here, or or via our website here.