Having fun, partying, throwing back, relaxing, enjoying a night out with friends, letting loose – how do you do it? Chances are there’s alcohol involved, and there is nothing wrong with knocking back a beer or enjoying an alcoholic beverage in these settings. But if you’re not careful, consuming alcohol can lead to extreme circumstances and events.
WCNC broke a story on May 2, 2018. A UNC Charlotte student was killed after falling out of a Charlotte party bus. 20-year-old Polly Rogers died in northeast Charlotte when she reportedly fell out of an emergency window located on the right side of the bus. Upon landing on the roadway, she was struck by two other vehicles.
On May 29th, WCNC followed up the story with the results of Rogers’ toxicology report. According to WCNC, the report released by the Chief Medical Examiner in Raleigh said Rogers’ blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was at 0.19%, which is more than twice the legal limit to drive in North Carolina. But Rogers didn’t drink and drive. She rode a party bus.
The Rise of the Party Bus
When you know you’re going to be drinking – and possibly going to get drunk – arranging a mode of transportation that doesn’t involve getting behind the wheel of a vehicle is smart. In fact, people who choose not to drink and drive and plan ways to avoid it when going out are acting responsibly.
Thumbtack.com published an article in 2016 entitled, 7 Great Reasons to Hire a Party Bus that highlights the appeal of party bus transportation. These versatile and fun-filled buses aren’t merely a local option. They can be found throughout the United States and in other countries, such as Great Britain. The party bus is a viable solution for a large group of people going out on the town, and it eliminates the need to designate a sober driver because you’re hiring one.
WCNC’s report of Rogers death highlights the importance of selecting a qualified party bus service. According to their report, the owner of the bus transporting Rogers “was charged for not having insurance and carrying fake license plates…State inspectors [also] found numerous violations” after the bus was turned over for inspection, “including two unmarked emergency exits…”
If you’re planning on barhopping or drinking and will be catching a ride on a party bus, this incident is a strong reminder of how important it is to ensure the bus is safe.
The Need to Remain Aware of Your Alcohol Consumption
While Rogers was not driving, the BAC levels released in her toxicology report could have contributed to the series of events that lead to her falling out of the bus while in transit. Absolute Advocacy’s founder and clinical director, Keisha Mclean-Green, was consulted as an expert and had this to say to WCNC regarding the impact of high blood alcohol content on an individual:
“Cognitively, they will be greatly affected in that their decision-making skills wouldn’t be accurate; they wouldn’t be as aware of themselves and other people around them.”
What happened to Polly Rogers, a UNC sophomore, is truly tragic and heart-wrenching. She didn’t drink and drive. She made the responsible decision by choosing to ride a party bus instead. And while her story highlights the need for party buses to be as safe as possible, there is another stout reminder stemming from it – the dangers of binge drinking.
What Is Binge Drinking?
Binge drinking is defined as consuming four to five drinks per occasion or drinking enough alcohol to reach a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08%.
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, alcohol abuse is responsible for 1,825 deaths per year of students aged 18 to 24. The risks of binging cannot be underestimated. In 2015, we covered the dangers of binge drinking. We also addressed the idea that binge drinking is just for fun and covered what parents and students need to know, particularly college drinkers.
The Amount of Alcohol You Drink Matters
Even when you aren’t driving, the amount of alcohol you consume matters. Binging on alcohol and having a high blood alcohol concentration impacts the drinker’s cognitive functions. It can make basic tasks difficult and rapidly contribute to potentially deadly accidents.
Alcohol awareness is key to preventing binge drinking-related accidents, and it all starts with knowledge. Join us as we continue to expand alcohol education in our community. Be sure to subscribe to our blog or join us on Facebook.