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Study looks at alcohol-related fatal crashes around colleges

Alcohol is part of many young people's college experience. It's been estimated that over 60 percent of students in American colleges and universities drink, even though most of them haven't yet reached the legal drinking age.

Unfortunately, for too many college students, the sudden availability of large amounts of alcohol coupled with peer pressure and lack of supervision can be a deadly combination. More than 1,800 college students die every year from alcohol-related injuries.

Not all of these involve drunk driving crashes. However, drunk driving fatalities are certainly a concern, particularly in areas surrounding college campuses. One insurance company analyzed data on fatal car crashes in these areas to determine which were the most dangerous.

The data for the study was from the years 2012 through 2016. During those years, 4.3 percent of all fatal crashes occurred within three miles of a college or university (non-city). Meanwhile, 3.5 percent occurred within 1.5 miles of city universities and colleges.

Sadly, the Baltimore area saw its share of these crashes. For example, there were 19 fatal crashes around the Community College of Baltimore County. The areas around the University of Maryland-Baltimore County and the University of Maryland-College Park both had six fatalities. The designated radius around Johns Hopkins University, however, had none.

Larger colleges and universities are often communities of their own where there's little need to venture off campus. However, students generally commute to and from city colleges and universities, so they have more need to be on the roads surrounding them. Either way, there are plenty of alternative means of transportation, e.g., ride-sharing companies like Lyft and Uber, so there's no need to get behind the wheel after you've been drinking.

However, if your college student has been arrested for drunk driving, it's essential to understand that a conviction can have a significant impact on their future at college and well beyond. That's why they should never face the justice system without experienced legal guidance.

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