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How to Throw a Safe Party

Think Before You Drink

Here at Student Health and Counseling Services, we take a non-judgmental approach to alcohol. Many CPP students choose not to drink alcohol, and the decision not to drink should be respected. For students who chose to drink, we encourage them to do so in ways that will reduce the likelihood of negative consequences (i.e. blacking out, doing something they later regretted, hangovers, etc.). By focusing on the concept of self-protection, we hope to encourage students to implement strategies throughout their experience that could decrease their risk.

Whether you're a "party thrower" or a "party goer," we have tips on reducing the risks of alcohol-related problems (personal and legal) as well as tips on how to keep your party from ending on a low note.

(Content adapted from U.C. Davis "Safe Party.")

Party Goer


  • Eat a full meal containing protein to slow down the absorption rate of alcohol.
  • Set a limit for the party and stick to it. Remember it's okay to not drink, to have just one or two drinks or not to drink at all.
  • Use the buddy system with your friends.
  • Arrange a safe ride to the party and back home, or plan to have a Designated Driver (DD)


  • Keep an eye on your drink and your surroundings. Get a new drink if you suspect it has been tampered with.
  • Pace yourself and alternate drinks with water. It takes your liver about 1 hour to process each alcoholic drink, depending on your size, food consumed & other factors.
  • Stick with one type of alcohol. Alternating types of alcohol can make you sicker because of different sugar levels between beer, hard alcohol and wine.
  • Avoid drinking games. It’s hard to judge how much you are drinking.


  • Watch out for your intoxicated friends. If any of your friends show even one sign of alcohol poisoning, call 911 and get them the help they need.
  • Make sure you and your friends have a safe ride home.
  • Leave with the friends you came with.
  • Drink water to counteract dehydration and to reduce feeling hungover the next day.


Not everyone drinks. According to the 2013 NCHA survey, 27% of CPP students have never drank alcohol, and 4 out of 5 CPP students report having 4 or less drinks when they party.

Avoid a party foul. Remember, as a party host, you’re liable for the actions of people who leave your party intoxicated.

Remember what’s at stake. If you get caught for alcohol violations you risk facing sizeable fines and campus as well as city sanctions. Campus police regularly share student violations with Judicial Affairs.

Four signs of alcohol poisoning:

C old, clammy, pale or bluish skin 
U nconscious or unable to be roused 
P uking repeatedly or uncontrollably 
S low or irregular breathing

If your friends are too intoxicated:

  • Call 911 if they have one or more signs of alcohol poisoning
  • Lay your friend on his or her side to prevent choking
  • Stay with your friends while waiting for help
  • Don’t let your friend “sleep it off"

PARTY THROWER (off campus)


  • Plan your guest list and site for hosting the event to keep your party on your terms.
  • For a big event, obtain a Noise Permit with the city so you have more leeway in how loud you can be.
  • Designate sober host(s) to monitor the party and ensure a safe event
  • Let your neighbors know about the party and give them contact info so they’ll call a sober host before they call the police.
  • Plan to serve water, non-alcoholic drinks, and provide snacks for guests, especially for those under 21.


  • Have one main entrance and close other access routes like windows to regulate who you want at the party.
  • Close doors to bedrooms and private areas to protect your personal property.
  • Keep the party people and drinks inside the residence.
  • Have sober monitors to check ID’s, watch your guests for signs of alcohol poisoning and stop service of alcohol to intoxicated guests and those acting aggressively.
  • Call 911 if your party gets out of control.
  • Make sure your guests get home safely! Plan to have DDs available or call taxis.


  • Clean up any trash surrounding your place and anything that has spilled over to a neighbor’s property.
  • Check in with your neighbors to hear feedback on the party.
  • Celebrate the success of a safe and fun party!

Call 911:

  • if you need help with your own party
  • to report someone else's party that's out of control
  • if someone has a medical emergency