Happy 21st Birthday from the Dean of Students office!

Many 21st birthday traditions can be risky or even dangerous. Make sure to celebrate your 21 years of life in a safe a responsible way!

Here are some tips and tricks to celebrate your 21st birthday in a safe way:

  • High consumption of alcohol in a short period of time can increase your risk of alcohol poisoning
  • Give yourself a safe limit of alcohol for the evening, never drink more than one (1) alcoholic drink per hour
  • Designate a sober driver ahead of time and ask that person to help you keep track of how many drinks you have consumed
  • Try alternating alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, like water, to stay hydrated
  • Eat a healthy meal before drinking alcohol and continue to snack during the evening
  • Avoid competitive drinking or drinking games that encourage consumption of large amounts of alcohol in a short period of time
  • Stay in a group and do not leave anyone alone
  • Choose a drink with a lower alcohol concentration and consult the graphic below

One (1) standard alcoholic drink is equivalent to:

  • 12 oz. domestic beer; about 5% alcohol
  • 8-9 oz. malt liquor; about 7% alcohol
  • 10 oz. microbrew beer
  • 8-9 oz. wine cooler
  • 5 oz. wine; about 12% alcohol
  • 1.5 oz. shot (80 proof); about 40% alcohol

Know the Signs of Alcohol Poisoning:

  • Unconsciousness or difficulty staying awake
  • Mental confusion
  • Slow breathing (less than 8 breaths per minute)
  • Irregular or no heartbeat
  • Cool, blue, or pale skin
  • Seizures or vomiting

If you identify someone with possible symptoms of alcohol poisoning:

DoDo Not
Call 9-1-1Leave them alone
Turn person on their sideGive them food, medication or other drugs
If they are not breathing, perform CPRAllow them to drive; Put them in a cold shower

Take care of your fellow dolphins. You are ALWAYS doing the right thing by getting the person help. The decision to call for help can make the difference between life and death.

Want more information on the effects of alcohol? Visit these pages:

Material adapted from: