In Birmingham, many students have now returned back to local colleges and universities to enjoy a new semester or to begin their college educations for the first time. Birmingham-Southern College, Samford University, Herzing College, University of Alabama at Birmingham, and Virginia College-Birmingham are among the institutions which all see an influx of college students in late August and early September each year.
As these students return to college, many will begin engaging in the age-old pastime of college students: drinking alcohol. Whether drinking of campus, at bars, at fraternity parties, or at friend's houses, drinking is a part of life in college. In fact, Villanova reports as many as 80 percent of college students drink alcohol and close to 30 percent generally drink four or more drinks in one sitting.
For students who drink even small amounts of alcohol, it is very important to remember never to get into a car and drive while intoxicated. While drinking in college usually has only minor consequences, even if you are underage, drinking and driving is a much more serious thing.
The Risks of Drinking and Driving for College Students
College students need to be aware of the serious risks associated with an impaired driving conviction. Even a first offense DUI can make a big impact on the life of a college student, and just the arrest alone can interfere with your life. If you end up being convicted, the consequences are harsh and can shape your semester and even your college career.
College students, unfortunately, face a significant risk of a drunk driving arrest and conviction. One big reason why college kids are at such a risk of impaired driving arrests is because most are under the age of 21 when they are drinking.
While it may seem normal to engage in this behavior on campus, the fact is people are still not allowed to drink when they are 18, 19, or 20. If you drink when you are underage, you are subject to zero tolerance laws. These laws say you can be guilty of drunk driving and face the loss of your license and other consequences, even if your blood alcohol concentration is nowhere near the .08 legal limit which applies to adults.
Because of zero tolerance laws, a college student who has as little as one drink could end up dealing with police for a DUI. The process of responding to a drunk driving arrest takes time and costs money. Many college students don't have a lot of available cash and could struggle to pay for court expenditures and other costs.
The time dealing with the legal issue associated with the DUI accusations can take time away from your studies. If you are actually convicted, paying the penalties- which could include more fines, community service, or even jail time - can further impact your school performance. You want to try to fight charges so at least you face the minimum of consequences if charged.