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College Students And Drinking: A Clear And Present Danger

On Behalf of | Dec 4, 2023 | Drunk Driving

Since the release of National Lampoon’s Animal House film, not to mention the movies that followed, college students who occupy dorms, fraternities, and sororities have become known for parties on and off campus.

The stereotype still sticks. According to the NIAAA College AIM, alcohol-impaired driving accounts for more alcohol-related fatalities among college students throughout the nation. Most binge drinking taking place off-campus keeps the problem in the shadows, with statisticians unable to secure an actual number.

A Nationwide Problem

When COVID-19 spread across the United States, one of the more troubling statistics was the increase in alcohol consumption among people of all ages and walks of life. That led to numerous deaths nationwide, with college students included in that troubling statistic.

The Spring 2021 NCHA Reference Group revealed that 13.1 percent of students who had got behind the wheel of a car to drive consumed alcohol prior to driving. Those using cannabis six hours prior skyrocketed to nearly 30 percent. The sum total of alcohol-related crash fatalities annually is nearing 1,000.

The Effectiveness of Rideshares

With drinking and drugs often comes driving, another trend among college students. Uber and other rideshare companies have helped to reduce fatalities. Distributing coupons is becoming a solid alternative for designated drivers. The dynamic of a friend staying sober can be more protective. However, knowing that rideshare is an inevitable option only increases alcohol consumption within drinking groups, making potentially bad situations worse.

While solutions exist, getting college students to stop a generational activity such as drinking is easier said than done. Getting a handle on more exact numbers helps to identify specific trends.

Alcohol consumption and driving remain a clear and present danger. However, situations exist where someone pulled over for suspected DUI have their rights violated. Faulty breathalyzers and poor application of drunk driving tests can lead to a wrongful arrest and conviction.


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