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How to have a fun, safe spring break in South Texas

CCPD Lt. Michael Pena said that additional officers will be on patrol to direct traffic and watch for drunk drivers.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Corpus Christi Police Department is gearing up for spring break as area beaches tend to have a surplus of crowds. 

Many Texas schools are out next week, including Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi and Del Mar College. 

CCPD Lt. Michael Pena said that additional officers will be on patrol to direct traffic and maintain order on Padre Island. However, they said there are things visitors can do to keep themselves from getting into a potentially dangerous situation.

"If you drink too much catch a ride with someone else, there's ride share companies, you can get on your phone and text them or before you go out to the beach have a designated driver," he said. 

While having fun is the main premise for spring break, Pena said that he and his officers will be making sure that beach goers are following the rules. 

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"We want everybody to have a good time but don't do something that is going to put yourself in danger," he said. 

Pena encourages college students to to be mindful of their surroundings and to have a buddy system in place. 

"Have a friend there, I'll watch your back, you watch mine," he said. 

Chief Executive of the Coastal Bend Wellness Foundation Bill Hoelscher said that while it can be an enjoyable way to loosen up, alcohol can be the main ingredient in a dangerous situation. 

"In our experience alcohol consumption plays a large part in people making poor choices, not only while driving, but also while engaging in social activities," he said. 

Hoelscher said that prioritizing safety is paramount when dealing with spring break crowds, whether that is at the beach or a bar.

"Don't go off with strangers, you don't know who they are and where you are going to end up, also be careful if you drink, if you are at a bar, cover your drink, carry your drink, take it with you, someone can put something in it," he said.

Hoelscher said the foundation normally sees an increase of sexually transmitted diseases following spring break. In fact, he said that the area is already seeing a rise in chlamydia and syphilis. 

"The choices you make today can affect you for the rest of your life," he said.

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