Plan for a Safe Halloween: Be an ACTive Bystander!


Make a plan:

  • Before Halloween (like, TODAY!) talk with your friends about getting to and from Halloween parties and events how you will get around and how you will get home, and how you will keep tabs on each other throughout the night so no one gets left behind.
  • Account for all people in your group of friends when you go out and when you head home. Staying with friends throughout the night will help ensure that everyone is safe and having a good time!
  • Offer to watch your friends’ drinks (alcoholic or not) when they leave the table.

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Make it a night to remember:

  • Drink water!
  • Consider the weather when you are designing your costume – be sure to dress warmly and remind your friends as well!
  • Activities like pre-gaming raise BAC (blood alcohol content, a measure of the amount of alcohol in your body) and make it more likely for a person to pass out or black out.  Talk to your friends about risk reduction strategies if they are planning to drink. Some common strategies among UNC students are: eating before drinking, avoiding shots, alternating alcoholic drinks with water, setting a pacing limit (e.g. 1 drink per hour), or an overall drink limit for the night.  For more ideas, check out this blog post.

Ask for Help:

  • Familiarize yourself with Halloween-specific resources and guidelines like the Town of Chapel Hill Guidelines, Parking Information from Public Safety
  • If someone is experiencing signs of alcohol poisoning or other injury, call 911 for medical help.
  • If you see potentially violent (physical or sexual) situation, call 911 for help!
  • If you or someone you know is experiencing distress, find one of the many uniformed police officers that will be on hand for the event. Their main goal is to keep everyone safe. If you can’t find someone in person, call 911.
  • Keep in mind NC’s new Good Samaritan Law: If you seek medical help on behalf of someone with alcohol poisoning, you will be exempt from certain underage alcohol possession charges. In other words, they cannot ticket you with underage possession or consumption of alcohol if you are you seeking medical attention on behalf of someone who may have alcohol poisoning.
  • If you don’t feel comfortable contacting police, look for volunteers from Student Affairs. They’ll be walking around in pairs to assist students in need of support. They can connect you to emergency or support services.
  • When things don’t go as planned, contact other resources that night or the next day for support for yourself or your friends.

Have a safe and fun Halloween!  

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