Congratulations! You’ve finished high school. Now before you start the next stage of your life, it’s time to celebrate. Schoolies Week is a rite of passage for year twelve graduates in Australia. And while it can be the time of your life, it’s important to party responsibly. Whether you’re heading to the Gold Coast, Byron or Bali, here’s how to stay safe during Schoolies 2018!
If you’re under 18, it’s illegal to drink alcohol. If you get caught, you’ll cop a huge fine. If you’re old enough to drink, drink responsibility. There are several ways you can do this:
- Pace yourself.
- Eat something while drinking.
- Drink lots of water.
- Watch out for drink spiking (don’t think “it won’t happen to me”).
- NEVER drink and drive.
For more tips on staying safe while drinking alcohol visit https://www.schoolies.qld.gov.au/make-most-schoolies/alcohol.
While at Schoolies you might be offered illicit drugs or see your friends using them. It’s best to avoid using drugs for the following reasons:
- You don’t know what’s in them. The ingredients in a drug differ between batches and they can kill you.
- If the police catch you with drugs it may result in a criminal record, restricting your future opportunities.
- Having a “bad trip” or another negative experience on drugs can be a frightening experience.
For more information check out https://adf.org.au/alcohol-drug-use/teenagers/safe-partying/safe-partying-tips-for-school-leavers.
There are other ways to stay safe during schoolies including:
- Stay with friends and look out for each other.
- Take care on balconies. Never throw objects off or “room hop” from one balcony to another.
- If you’re in a spot like Surfers Paradise of course you’ll want to make the most of the beach! Just remember to be sun-smart during the day.
Rosies has supported schoolies on the Gold Coast and in other locations since 1987. If you find yourself having a bad time at Schoolies you can go and see them. Or, if you love helping others, why not volunteer? http://rosies.org.au/get-involved/#volunteer
It’s up to you to decide whether you want to have sex or not. If it doesn’t feel right, say no. Respect the rights of others and never pressure anyone. Remember: if someone is drunk, under the influence of drugs, unconscious or semi-conscious, they can’t consent. Sex with somebody who can’t consent is rape.
If you decide to have sex, always use protection. Condoms and water-based lubricant are the best form of protection against sexually transmitted diseases and unplanned pregnancies. Always carry condoms with you.
Don’t Drink and Drive
In Queensland, you are breaking the law if you’re on your P’s and you drive with ANY alcohol in your system. If you’re caught drink driving you will have to go to court, and serious penalties apply.
In January 2018 ABC News reported that 30% of fatal car crashes in Australia are due to drink driving. It’s never worth the risk. For more information about safe and responsible drinking visit DrinkWise.
Violence is Never the Answer
One punch can kill. No doubt you’ve heard about the tragic deaths that coward punches have caused in Australia. Letting your emotions get the better of you in the heat of the moment can lead to criminal charges, time in prison, injury or death. Also, under the Queensland Criminal Code any person who takes part in a fight in a public place has committed an offence called “affray”. This carries a maximum penalty of one year’s imprisonment.
Getting into trouble at Schoolies can have legal consequences in the adult world. For more information visit https://www.shine.com.au/blog/abuse-law/what-happens-at-schoolies/.
For information on how to spot a drunk driver on the roads visit https://www.shine.com.au/blog/preventative-law/drink-drivers-spot-one-roads/.
If you’ve been injured in a motor vehicle accident contact us: https://www.shine.com.au/service/motor-vehicle-accidents/.
Written by Shine Lawyers. Last modified: February 1, 2019.