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 Santa Barbara > Community > Education > International Student Guide > Safety Rules
Safety Rules

One of the most important thing you should consider to study in the U.S. is your safety. There are so many crimes and accidents in America. Santa Barbara is not the exception. Crime, violence and accident around campuses may happen to you, So you should remember some safety rules.

   Safety Tips

  • Keep your doors locked day and night.

  • Check to see who is at the door before opening it. If your door has a “peerhole”, use it before opening the door.
  • Record the serial Numbers and descriptions of your valuable items- it can be helpful to police if the item is ever stolen.
  • WOMEN: Be careful about who you invite to your room or apartment. Also be careful when you go to someone else’s room or apartment by yourself.
  • Always keep the telephone numbers of the police, campus police, fire department, and hospital next to your telephone, so that you can find them in an emergency.
  • DO NOT go out alone at night- always take a friend with you.
  • DO NOT get into a car with someone you do not know. DO NOT give rides to people you do not know.
  • DO NOT carry large amounts of cash with you- use personal checks, credit cards, or traveler’s checks.
  • DO NOT leave valuable (jewelry or money) in your room or car.
  • If you have a car, always lock it when it is parked.

    Escort service

Do you know that you can get a escort service around UCSB and Isla Vista area at night? CSO (Community Service Organization) offers free escort service for the students who have to walk or bike at night. So, if you feel unsafe to hang out at night, feel free to call  CSO Escort Line at 893-2000. For more information, check out the CSO website.

    General laws in Santa Barbara 

Foreign students and visitors in the United States must obey the same laws as Americans. If you break the law, you will be treated the same way as an American- you will have the right to an attorney and a trial. If you are found guilty of a crime while in the U.S., you may be deported and may lose your right to return to the United States.

 The followings are things that you can be arrested.

  • fighting in public; other acts of violence
  • minor in possession of alcohol
  • public intoxication
  • open alcohol containers in public
  • DUI (Driving Under the Influence) / BUI (Biking Under the Influence)
  • violating the noise ordinance (after10 pm S-Th and after 12 midnight Fri/Sat)
  • urinating in public
  • burning couches or vehicles (any kind of arson!)

   Rules about drinking

It is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to drink alcohol. It is also illegal to be drunk in public and to drive after drinking. If you drive while you are drunk, you may be sent to jail, have to pay a fine and lose your driving privileges. It is against the law for you or your passengers to have an open container of alcohol (even an open can of beer) in your car. You can also get a ticket for riding a bicycle while drunk!

 California has the strictest drunk driving laws in the United States and Santa Barbara has one of the highest ratios of police officers to citizens. This is good because it makes Santa Barbara a safe place to live but it also means that many of its inhabitants and visitors are arrested for drunk driving. The legal blood alcohol limit is below 0.08. That means if you are at 0.08 or above and the police pull you over for speeding, swerving, or just for having a broken tail light, the following will happen to you.

1. You will be pulled over by the police and asked to do several drunk driving tests.

2. You will be give a breath test at that time.

3. You will be handcuffed and put in a police car and taken to jail.

4. Your car will be towed away($100 bail)

5. You will spend the night in jail.

6. You will not be allowed to drive for 4 months, no exceptions.

7. You should hire a lawyer. ($500-$1,000)

8. You will have to appear in court.

9. You will have to pay a fine. ($1,500)

10. You will have to do community service (2 weekends of picking up garbage on the highway)

11. You will have to go to "Alcohol Awareness" school one night a week for 15 weeks. ($400 tuition)

12. You will have to attend several Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

13. You will be placed on probation for 3years, during which time;

     a) If you are ever caught driving with any traceable amount of alcohol in your system( even.0000000001), you will be given another Drunk Driving ticket and you will have to repeat steps 1-12.

    b) You will be required by law to show proof of car insurance. Now that you are a convicted drunk driver, your insurance rate will now be approximately $4,000 a year!

It is pretty overwhelming! So, don't drink and drive!

Bicycling under the influence is illegal and dangerous too.

  Rules about drugs

Drug laws are different for foreign students. Department of Immigration Laws state that any alien guilty of a drug offense (including simple possession of marijuana) may be deported. Foreign students must remember to obey the laws. In California, you have to be careful about drugs all the time. Especially, when you go to party, you'd better pour your own drinks and keep them in your possession at all times.  

Things you should know about Rohypnol

Rohypnol is known as a "Date rape drug" in the United States. Is also called as a "Roofies",  "Rope", " Rib", "Ruffies", "Roche" and  "R-2". Pohypnol is very dangerous and used in a lot of college campuses and parties because it is really cheap. Rohypnol is often combines with alcohol, and it causes memory blackouts. So, it has been used a lot to rape. It looks like just an aspirin, it will cuase muscle relaxation, dizziness, and headaches, slow psychomotor responses and lower inhibitions. So a lot of women victims raped under the influence of Rohypnol are even unsure whether they were raped or not, because they have no memory. So, you should be careful when you drink, never leave your drink unattended. Don't drink opened cans, and if someone offers you to buy a drink, you'd better go up to the bar with them to accept the drink. 

Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center

This center provides a 24-hour hotline, confidential support, medical and legal information, counseling, and self-defense. Advocates are also available to meet in person. All services are available in English and Spanish. 

111 N. Milpas
Santa Barbara CA 93108
Phone: (805) 963-6832
24-hour hotline: 564-3696.

UCSB Rape Prevention Education Program (RPEP)

Rape Prevention Education Program (at the Women's Center) -- staff are available to talk with people affected by sexual assault, abusive dating or domestic relationships, sexual harassment, and stalking. The Center also offers education programs, library materials, information, support, and advocacy. 893-3778