Alcohol on campus: What are students up against?

Alcohol on campus: What are students up against?

Drinking is commonplace for college students across the country. Alcohol may present opportunities for students to receive criminal charges.

School is well underway for university students in New York and across the country. For many, leaving home for college is an important rite of passage that marks the beginning of adulthood. A significant portion of students are under the legal drinking age of 21, yet many underage students take part in drinking activities in college. While there is nothing wrong with drinking responsibly after reaching the legal age, college life presents many opportunities for students both under and over 21 to find themselves in legal trouble.

How common is it for college students to get involved in drinking?

Statistics by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reveal that many new students begin drinking heavily during their first six weeks at school. Every year, about 3,360,000 college students, both underage and over 21, are involved in drunk driving.

Why does alcohol have such a strong presence on college campuses?

According to the Prevention Resource Center, a great deal of the college lifestyle is centered around drinking and partying. Alcohol is central to socializing, “loosening up,” and reducing some of the stress from classes and studying. For those who are into sports, there is always an abundance of alcohol at sporting events, tailgating parties and post-game get togethers. Fraternities and sororities frequently throw parties where alcohol is present. Drinking is often a central part of fraternity initiation ceremonies. Students may also drink in private settings in their residence halls, or with friends at bars near the campus.

What are some of the consequences students may face for an alcohol-related conviction?

Alcohol convictions come with serious penalties that can affect a student for years. In addition to fines and possible jail time, those with alcohol-related convictions may lose their license, be required to undergo alcohol counseling at their expense or drive with an ignition interlock device. School administration may decide to suspend students from athletic programs or clubs, and expulsion is also a possibility.

How can parents help their students avoid penalties?

When parents are actively involved in their students’ lives, they may help prevent them from being accused of a crime. Early education and open discussions are key in making young people aware of the possible dangers and penalties of drinking heavily. It may be a good idea to set expectations, goals and consequences for underage drinking. These might include restricting financial assistance for students who get in trouble for drinking. It can help to keep in regular contact with children at school, visit them often and watch for signs of alcohol abuse. These might include dropping grades, depression and changes in behavior.

For those facing alcohol charges, it is important to get in touch with an experienced Buffalo defense attorney. An attorney should attempt to protect the rights of those accused of wrongdoing and ensure they are treated fairly in court.