Your child is finally an adult and has gone off to college. While you are no doubt feeling proud and probably a little nostalgic, you might also need to feel concerned about the possibilities of alcohol abuse during the first years your child is on his or her own. You and other parents in California should be aware of the charges your child could face for college drinking.
You remember what it was like while you attended a university. In between grueling schedules and studying for tests, you might have relieved the stress by drinking. It may not surprise you to learn that times have not changed. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reports that around 60 percent of college students drank in the last month, and about two-thirds engaged in binge drinking. Freshman year is an especially vulnerable time for your student – the expectations to participate in social drinking, combined with stress about classes and tests, might prove tempting to give in and drink too much.
If your student faces charges of an alcohol-related offense, the following consequences are a possibility:
- Jail time and/or fines
- Academic problems, including failing grades, suspension from athletics or extracurricular groups, or expulsion
- Difficulties finding employment after graduation
- Loss of driving privileges
- Shame and embarrassment from the social stigma of having a drunk driving record
It is possible that your child might be in danger of harm from drinking or being around those who have drunk too much. Each year, thousands of young people suffer injury or die in drunk driving accidents. Numerous college students fall victim to physical or sexual assaults in incidents fueled by alcohol. Your child might also face accusations of harassment or assault after an activity involving alcohol.
You might prevent serious consequences by speaking with your child about the potential dangers of drinking, but it is no guarantee. If your child is facing alcohol-related charges, it is advisable to speak with a defense attorney.