Your first year in college can be exciting. For the first time in your life, you are on your own and in control of your destiny. Your teachers will be treating you like an adult, and you may have a job, bills and other responsibilities that reflect your transition to adulthood. For you and many other new college students in California, drinking is one of the many activities you participate in.
However, there can be a downside to drinking in college. As we have explained in previous posts, you can face serious penalties for the decisions you make while drinking, including underage charges, property damage, assault and battery or drunk driving.
If you are not convinced that drinking in college can be a problem, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism cites the following statistics:
- Alcohol is responsible for approximately 1,825 fatalities among college students across the U.S. every year, particularly in drunk driving crashes.
- About two out of every three college students admit to binge drinking during the past month.
- Students are especially vulnerable to problems related to heavy drinking during their first six weeks in school, due to both social pressures and the stress of adjusting to their new responsibilities.
None of these dismal figures mean you should not enjoy alcohol during your college years. For many, alcohol is a rite of passage to adulthood and a way to bond with new friends and create memorable experiences. If you are aware of the potential risks of drinking too much, you may avoid the negative consequences. For example, you know that you can be arrested for drunk driving if you get behind the wheel after drinking at a party or a bar. You might avoid this by designating a sober driver when you and your friends are out or calling an Uber to take you home.
Your newfound responsibilities mean that you must make adult decisions, but everyone can make mistakes. Therefore, you have the right to a competent defense if you are facing DUI charges.