COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - While many college students are heading out for some fun and sun during the spring break season, authorities say it is especially important to be aware of situations that can take a turn for the worse and land you in trouble.
Although many young people love to share your vacation plans over social media, officials say to be mindful of this: publishing too much information can leave you vulnerable to predators who seek out college students.
“What you want to look for is people that are really getting close, that are trying to mingle into your group and that are not normally in your group. You want to look for people that try to follow you to your room or want to know which vehicle you were in," warns Sgt. Chris Anderson with the Columbus Police Department.
Law enforcement also recommends always having a designated driver if you are out partying. During spring break, officials say they tend to see an uptick in DUI’s or drunk driving related accidents.
“Drinking and driving is a major problem, especially around this time of year, because you’re out having a good time and you don’t realize how much you have had to drink. If you can just get into the mindset of not drinking and driving at any point you will be in good shape," said Anderson.
If you do end up drinking and do not have a designated driver, police say to call a ride service. However, they warn to use caution in these situations as well.
When requesting an Uber or Lyft, the drivers name, car details, and photo will appear on your phone, so always double check they match before hopping into a vehicle.
“You want to check those things before you get into the vehicle to make sure you’re not getting into a vehicle that’s actually not for you- in other words someone who’s trying to scam you,” said Anderson.
For those of drinking age, police also recommend taking a card from your hotel with the name, number, and address on it- just in case you need extra help getting back.
Finally, authorities say if you are in an uncomfortable or dangerous situations, it is a good idea to communicate with those you know and trust. Decide on a code word beforehand that will let your friends know if you need their help.