For many students, parties and drinking are part and parcel of the college experience. Unfortunately, college students' sense of youthful invincibility, combined with relative inexperience with alcohol, can lead otherwise responsible young people to make bad - and potentially life-altering - decisions.
Irresponsible drinking can lead to charges for driving while intoxicated, hospitalization for alcohol poisoning, injures and school disciplinary charges. The consequences of an alcohol-related criminal charge can stay with students for years, hindering their ability to get a job or enter graduate studies.
Colleges have long used media campaigns and community-based programs to reach out to students to help them understand the dangers of irresponsible drinking. A new report shows these strategies may be working, at least in California.
New data reveals that alcohol-related misconduct is down at all California State University campuses. Students are reporting less drinking and driving and an increased willingness to seek medical attention for a friend who has had too much to drink. Overall, the study reported reductions in both underage drinking and binge drinking behavior.
California is not alone in its efforts to reduce student drinking. The federal Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act requires colleges and universities receiving federal funds to maintain alcohol and drug prevention programs for students. Schools are required to review the effectiveness of their programs every two years.
California DUI Penalties
These trends are most certainly a good thing. Irresponsible drinking puts lives at risk and can have serious health consequences. Furthermore, students who are caught drinking and driving can face severe penalties.
A person convicted of a DUI first offense in California must spend a minimum of 48 hours in jail. They will also lose their driver license for six months and may face up to $1,800 in fines and court fees. Depending on the severity of the offense, they may also be placed on up to five years of court probation. The penalties for driving while intoxicated increase with each subsequent offense. If a person is injured in connection with a DUI, the drunk driver could face felony charges and may be sent to state prison.
California also has a "zero tolerance" law for underage DUI, meaning that drivers under the age of 21 can be charged with DUI even if their blood alcohol content is well below the legal limit of 0.08.
If you are a student who is facing DUI charges, don't take risks with your future. Contact an experienced California DUI defense attorney who can help you understand your legal options.
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