As a parent with a child in college, you think back to your own college days often. You remember that care-free lifestyle and all the fun you had — and maybe you hope your own child makes better choices than you did. Specifically, you know that there is a risk of high alcohol use and everything that comes along with it.
You’re right to be concerned. The drinking culture at American colleges does come with risk. For instance, some studies claim that around 3,360,000 college students drive under the influence annually. These students range in age from 18 years old to 24 years old, so many of them are also drinking illegally even before they drive, as they’re too young.
How common is this practice? One study asked students who already admitted that they consumed alcohol if they had consumed it and then driven in the last month. A full 30% of them said that they had. When asked in a survey about driving after drinking or using drugs in the last 12 months, 39% of students claimed that they had.
Does this mean that your child is definitely going to engage in this practice? Of course not. But it does show you that the risks you’re thinking about do exist. Many students drink in college and they often have a lot of personal freedom and their own cars. OUIs can happen to both underage students driving home from house parties and older students headed back from the bar.
An arrest can have a drastic impact on your son or daughter’s future and education, so make sure you know what options you have.