Safety & U.S. Law
Tips For Personal Safety:
- Always lock your residence hall room, apartment, or car (if you get one) when you leave, even if you only plan to be away a very brief time.
- Do not carry large amounts of cash or valuables.
- Walk confidently and directly at a steady pace. Avoid looking around as if you are lost, even if you are. Go into a lighted, enclosed, public place to consult maps or ask for directions.
- Stay in well-lit areas as much as possible.
- Avoid walking alone at night.
- Dial 911 or campus safety (678-466-4050) in an emergency or use the emergency call boxes located throughout campus.
- Drinking Age You must be at least 21 years of age to purchase, possess, or consume alcoholic beverages (beer, wine, liquor) anywhere in the U.S. including in a private residence. You must show "Photo I.D." (identification) when buying or ordering alcoholic beverages. Americans usually show their driver's license, but it's okay to show your passport also.
- Accepting Drinks Never accept any type of drink (alcoholic or not), particularly in a bar or club, from someone you don't know. Unfortunately, this is a common way to drug unsuspecting individuals and make them vulnerable to theft, attack or worse. Keep your eyes on your drink at all times.
- "Open Container Laws" You cannot be in a public place (street, park, festival etc.) with an open container of alcohol. This law applies to everyone, regardless of age. This includes drinking from an open container as a passenger in a car being driven by someone who is 21+ and not drinking.
- "Designated Driver" This term refers to an individual who volunteers to drive others in a group without drinking any alcohol himself/herself during the outing. The idea is to ensure the safety of those who do choose to legally consume alcohol. This practice is a common safety practice, not a law. Never accept a ride from someone you know has been drinking. A bar, club or restaurant will always be happy to call a registered taxi for you if you don't have a designated driver.
- Drugs In the U.S., all non-prescription drugs, including marijuana, is totally illegal. Depending on the type, quantity and level of offense, legal terms such as "misdemeanor" and "felony" are used to designate the level of criminal offense. Either would reflect very negatively on your immigration status in the U.S. "Medical-Use Marijuana" is also illegal in the state of Georgia at the present time, regardless of where the prescription came from.