Spring Break….What Parents (and Kids) Need to Know

posted on March 20, 2017 by Willingham & Cote

by Troy Clarke, Criminal Law

Spring Break can be the best of times and the worst of times.  Many sunny destinations host thousands of young revelers throwing their cares to the wind, often by drinking illegally or more than they can responsibly handle.  The courts in these popular Spring Break towns then work overtime to deal with the consequences of all that fun, which can be a lot longer-lasting and painful than a hangover. 


You can prepare your Spring Breaker for a fun and hopefully safe Spring Break in a few simple steps.


Do Some Research

While many of these spots cater to partygoers and even designate areas for public drinking, many have grown tired of all the headaches that come along with an influx of youth looking for a good time.  It is essential to research any destination to locate the safest areas for open air activities.  Some cities have banned public drinking in designated areas.  In just one example, a quick review of the website for Panama City Beach, Florida shows that, while alcoholic beverages are allowed on public beaches eleven months of the year, in March no drinking is allowed on the beach.  A Spring Breaker in a less alcohol-friendly environment may be a safer Spring Breaker.


Stay with Friends and Stay Under the Radar

Law enforcement personnel are typically greatly increased during Spring Break.  Don’t expect your child to get away with drinking under the legal age, drinking to excess or creating a public disturbance.  The risk of trouble can be greatly decreased by staying with a group of friends, avoiding excessive drinking and knowing the law.  Having a few responsible adults looking out for the rest of the group is also a great way to avoid problems. 


Good Guestmanship - Treating Hosts with Respect

Your child should expect to be under the microscope on Spring Break.  Locals and police will be on the lookout for troublemakers.  You should have a frank discussion with your child that, even though they might just be having fun, it might not appear that way to others and won’t be tolerated if not done responsibly and with respect.

Troy D. Clarke is an attorney  at Willingham & Cote’, P.C. in East Lansing, Michigan.  He specializes in the areas of criminal law and medical malpractice defense.  Mr. Clarke may be reached at 517-324-1044or

The information contained in this website is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter.


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