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DUI Among College Students Dropping

Posted on: September 27, 2017 by Edwards & Patterson Law


College and drinking unfortunately go hand in hand for many students and campuses across the United States. For many young people, the freedom of being away of home without supervision is too tempting, and experimentation often leads to excess. However, recent data reveals that DUI charges are dropping among college students, which is a welcome revelation for parents, college administrators, and law enforcement officials.

Binge Drinking and DUI Rates Falling

Although binge drinking among college students saw a significant rise from 1999 to 2005, from 37% to 45%, the trend surprisingly reversed. By 2014, that level was back down to 37%, according to studies by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). Binge drinking is defined as excessive consumption of alcohol involving at least 4 drinks (for women) or 5 drinks (for men) within a two-hour span of time.

Such a drop in binge drinking has also contributed in at least some ways to a drop in DUI charges and convictions among college students, as well as a reduction in alcohol-related traffic fatalities. According to the study cited above, drunk driving among college students dropped from 29% in 2005 to 17% in 2014. This lead to falling alcohol-related injury deaths (down 30%) and traffic deaths (down 43%) between 1998 and 2014.

Contributing Factors

This welcome reduction in alcohol-fueled negative behavior can be attributed to a few major factors. First and foremost, increased efforts at education and regulation at local, state, and federal levels have proven effective. Since 2005, all 50 states have passed legislation setting a 0.08% blood alcohol limit (BAC) for drivers. In addition, 38 states are now implementing strategic plans to target and reduce underage drinking.

After realizing the consequences of a DUI conviction, or worse, an accident or fatal injury, many college students are wisely choosing to refrain from excessive alcohol-related behavior. This includes designated drivers, using app-scheduled ridesharing for transportation home after parties, or other sensible options to prevent drunk driving and accidents.

Another factor is a poor economy. With less discretionary income, and college expenses that include books, tuition, food, fees, and rent on the rise, many students simply cannot afford to spend precious capital on frivolous alcohol-fueled adventures. While financial hardship can be stressful, it is also a factor in students making better decisions concerning alcohol.

Oklahoma DUI Law

In Oklahoma, DUI violations are taken seriously. Any person caught driving while under the influence of alcohol can expect to face stiff fines and penalties. In fact, in 2017, Oklahoma is stepping up its battle against drinking and driving. State Bill 643 goes into effect on November 1, 2017, and requires all drunk driving first offenders to install an ignition interlock on their vehicles. This interlock system requires the driver to blow into a mouthpiece on the device for an automatic alcohol breathalyzer test. If the test reveals a questionable alcohol level, the vehicle will not start. Oklahoma is the 29th state to provide this deterrent on drunk driving. Other states include Texas, Kansas, New Mexico, and Missouri.

If you’ve been involved in a serious car accident in eastern Oklahoma, McAlester, or Tulsa, and the other driver was charged with DUI, call on the experienced Oklahoma lawyers at Edwards & Patterson Law. We offer free case evaluations with no strings attached. Call us today at 877-403-8417 or contact us online. You pay absolutely no attorney fees unless you recover monetary damages.

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