Students can face penalties for underage drinking at college

| May 24, 2018 | Underage Drinking

When Maryland parents send their kids off to college, one of their biggest fears is often the easy access their sons and daughters may have to alcohol. Even though they’re too young to legally drink, most of us know from our own college days that alcohol is often readily available both on and off campus at parties, sporting events and even at local bars and restaurants that may not be vigilant about carding their young customers.

It may provide some reassurance to parents to learn that colleges and universities have been incentivized by the federal government to implement programs aimed at preventing alcohol and drug use by linking such programs to funding. Schools are required to, among other things, provide alcohol and drug treatment programs for students and have school penalties in place for students who break the law, including laws regarding underage drinking. School policies about consumption of alcohol generally follow state and federal underage drinking laws.

School penalties for violating policies, including those involving underage drinking, can include financial aid denial, suspension, probation and even expulsion. Some schools require kids who violate policies on drinking and drugs to enroll in rehabilitation programs.

Colleges and universities can attempt to make drinking less prevalent by limiting alcohol at athletic events and denying permits to serve alcohol at on-campus events. They can also penalize organizations like fraternities and sororities that allow underage drinking at their functions.

Besides facing penalties at school, students who engage in underage drinking can face criminal charges. These shouldn’t be taken lightly. An experienced Georgia defense attorney can provide guidance if your child is arrested for underage drinking or related offenses like DUI.

Source: FindLaw, “Underage Drinking: Laws and School Policies,” accessed May 24, 2018

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