- March 15
- Evans & Herlihy
- Personal Injury
Every year, thousands of college students head south for spring break, lured by beautiful beaches and exciting nightlife. This year, South Padre Island anticipates an even greater presence of spring break revelers than in previous years, due in part to the fact that other beachfront destinations are banning or restricting alcohol use. South Padre still allows alcohol consumption on the beach, day or night.
In the weeklong reprieve from classes, some students take celebrating a bit too far. Many students have been injured or arrested as a direct result of alcohol consumption, so whether you’re a local resident or a visitor, you may need to keep an eye out for out-of-control revelers around spring break.
Activities and Injuries
There’s plenty to do along South Padre’s 34-mile seashore, but many of these activities – snorkeling, parasailing, and riding a Jet Ski, for example – require a certain degree of alertness. Alcohol can interfere with one’s judgment, and when operating a high-powered Jet Ski, a judgment error can lead to a deadly crash.
Physicians report that spring break accidents associated with intoxication include dangerous vehicle crashes, Jet Ski accidents, broken bones, and falls from balconies. Even when alcohol isn’t a factor, college students can easily succumb to injuries – in 2015, a woman who was perched on a balcony at a South Padre hotel fell to her death.
The Dangers of Sun and Heat
In 2013, two mobile beachside hospital units treated 60 sunburned, intoxicated partiers by 4 p.m. on a Saturday. The local fire chief said at the time he expected to receive between 400 and 500 calls during the peak spring break season, mostly due to dehydration and over-indulgence. Dehydration may seem like a minor inconvenience, but it can be severe enough to require hospitalization.
The Effect on Locals
At most other times of the year, South Padre Island is a quiet community of about 5,000 people. But during spring break, the population can swell to 80,000. That influx of tourists may provide an economic boost for the island, but it puts a strain on public safety officials who hope to maintain order and protect vacationers from dangerous situations.
Each time an intoxicated visitor gets behind the wheel of a car, local residents may be in danger. While there are plenty of responsible spring break visitors to the island, many of their peers exercise the kind of poor judgment that creates risky situations for themselves, their friends, and local residents. That’s why it’s important for vacationers to speak up when they see friends engaging in dangerous behaviors.
Recovering from Injuries
South Padre Island has a clinic where people can be treated for minor injuries. But if an injury is serious enough to require emergency room attention, the nearest hospital is roughly 30 miles away, in Brownsville. No vacationer heads to South Padre intending to spend part of spring break in a Brownsville hospital, but it happens on occasion.
Spring break is a time to forget about the pressures of grade point averages and college life, and to enjoy some fresh air and sunshine. But when alcohol is a part of that experience, a relaxing vacation can quickly become a nightmare. From an arrest for driving while intoxicated to suffering a debilitating injury, the consequences of excessive alcohol consumption can disrupt the lives of many people.
If you have questions about how vacation injuries might apply to your situation, discuss it with one of the attorneys at the Austin, TX-based Evans Law Firm. As personal injury attorneys with years of experience, we help the people of Texas put their lives back on track. We offer small law firm attention with big law firm results. Call today at 1-855-414-1012 or fill out this online contact form to find out how we can help you.