Addressing the issue of college drinking

Many college students drink heavily while they are in school. This can result in numerous alcohol-related criminal charges.

With the beginning of another school year, new university students across Alabama are celebrating unprecedented freedom and new friends. This is an exciting rite of passage for many young people, and alcohol is often a part of the festivities. When students are under the age of 21, however, numerous issues can arise.

Many new college students begin the first few weeks of school by drinking heavily, points out the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Drunk driving charges during the university years are common, with more than 3 million college-aged people across the country driving while intoxicated every year.

Many ways for college students to face alcohol charges

DUI charges are not the only alcohol-related penalties that college students may face. According to the Prevention Resource Center, students often drink at frat parties, athletic events, residence halls and bars near the campus. As a result, they may end up with charges relating to the following:

  • Public intoxication
  • Using a false identification card
  • Underage charges, such as being a minor in possession of alcohol or providing alcohol to someone under age 21
  • Alcohol-related sexual offenses
  • Fights or property damage fueled by drinking

Drinking while in college can have many consequences that a student did not intend or anticipate. In addition to the criminal charges, a student may face discipline from university authorities, which may include suspension from athletic teams or expulsion. One's educational opportunities may be severely curtailed, as well as the ability to be employed and drive a vehicle. Many serious alcohol-related charges also come with embarrassment and social stigma.

How parents might take action

Parents may take measures to reduce the chances of their child getting alcohol charges while in college. It is always a wise idea to keep in contact with children while they are away in school and to let them know that they can talk at any time, for any reason. Parents may also wish to stay updated on their child's grades and performance. They can regularly communicate with their child on the phone or through email, as well as visit whenever possible. If parents support their student financially, they might establish a condition that the child behaves appropriately while in school and does not participate in underage drinking.

Despite the best precautions, young people may be influenced by their peers and can make mistakes. It is important to speak with an experienced defense attorney in Tuscaloosa if a college student is facing charges related to alcohol.