Partygoer Safety Checklist

Increase the good and reduce the bad!

Whether a first-time or veteran partygoer, don’t underestimate the importance of having a plan each time you go out. With just a few minutes of preparation you can help ensure that you and any other friends you are with stay safe and stay in the fun zone. Below are just a few suggestions for how you can party safe and reduce the risks of alcohol-related problems.

Before you start drinking

  • Eat a good meal. Alcohol enters your bloodstream through your stomach and small intestine. If your stomach's empty when you start drinking, the alcohol will enter your bloodstream more quickly.
  • Charge your phone and make sure emergency and non-emergency resources are in there such as the City of Binghamton Fire Department and Harpur’s Ferry. TIP: You can call 911 and ask to be connected with Harpur’s Ferry even if you are off campus. 
  • Make a drinking plan:
    • Clarify your reasons for drinking and/or going out.
    • Don’t assume everyone drinks and don’t assume you need to drink.
    • Decide what kinds of alcohol you will or will not drink and set your drinking limit (BAC Calculator).
    • If you will be at more than one location, plan how much you want drink at each location. TIP: Space and pace to one drink per hour to feel all the good but not all the bad.
    • Decide how you will track how much you are drinking. TIP: Bring your own alcohol and only what you want to drink and it will be easier to stick to your limit. Remember, you can also fill a cup with something non-alcoholic and no one needs to know.
    • Plan what time you want to end the night and how you will get home. TIP: Set an alarm on your phone that will go off when that time arrives.
    • Think through how you will respond if someone pressures you to drink.
    • Pick your “buddy” for the night and tell each other your plan.
  • Familiarize yourself with local laws around alcohol and the Student Code of Conduct.
  • Know the signs of alcohol intoxication and steps to intervene if someone is in need of assistance.
  • If you interact with 911 and paramedics:
    • Give them access to the patient and the information they need to help them (i.e. how much was consumed, where it came from, if they’ve vomited).
    • Make sure the patient has ID, phone, and keys.
    • Offer to accompany or pick up when released. TIP: when police and paramedics arrive, life safety is their #1 priority.

While you are drinking

  • Don’t go straight to the bar.
    • Spend a couple of minutes scoping out the people, drinks and activities.
    • Notice risky behaviors and situations (i.e. no water available, guests over-intoxicated, party is over capacity, too loud or disturbing others).
    • Find out who and where the primary part host is, and make sure you know what he/she looks like in the event you need their assistance.
  • Stick to your plan.
    • Know what’s in your drink and pace yourself accordingly.
    • Alternate alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages to stay hydrated and slow down consumption.
    • Track your drinks.
    • Skip the drinking games and shots.
    • Stick with one type of alcohol if possible.
    • Avoid drinking from large containers of mixed drinks; it’s hard to gauge how much you’ve had or what’s in the drink.
    • Enjoy non-salty snacks, if possible. Salt tends to make you thirsty and drink more, but any food is better than no food.
  • Stay with your buddy and watch out for each other throughout the night.
    •  Reinforce and hold each other accountable to your drinking plans.
    • Use each other to ensure that no one is pressures to drink.
    • If one of you become over-intoxicated, stop drinking altogether and help get the intoxicated friend home safely. No one left behind. No one walks alone.
  • Be a good guest and bystander.
    • The best way to be invited back is to know and respect the house rules or party host’s space.
    • Ask for water if you don’t see it.
    • If you sense that something is off, listen to your gut and do something even if pressured to stay uninvolved.
    • Be an upstander if you notice someone in a vulnerable situation or are uncomfortable in any way with what you are seeing (i.e. your guest is going home with someone he/she does not know well or is being pressured to drink more than he/she wants).
    • If you make a mess, clean it up.
    • If police or neighbors stop by an event you are attending, stay calm and speak to them honestly.
  • Don’t let small problems become big.
    • Stay alert enough that you are still noticing your surroundings.

After you are done drinking

  • Make sure you and your friends get home safely.
  • Reflect:
    • Did you have a good time?
    • Did you stick to your plan?
    • Lessons learned?
    • Changes for next time.
  • Tell the party host if…
    • They did a great job and deserve recognition.
    • If they did something wrong that needs fixing.