Drunk Driving And Alcohol Abuse – Increasing Trends Among College Students?



When college students are in the transition from high school to college life, they often come across emotional, physical and lifestyle changes. The changes are experiences that involve independence and stress towards their new environment, peers and lifestyle that makes them susceptible to abuse of various kinds. Two types of abuse that are commonly associated with college students are alcohol abuse and drunk driving.

Drunk Driving And Alcohol Abuse – Increasing Trends Among College Students?

Too many college students are becoming victims of alcohol abuse and too many of them neglect to understand the risks of drunk driving that these have become a trend.

Are The Numbers Increasing?

It has been surveyed, studied and documented that college students show increased rates of drinking and driving compared to the general population of America. In fact, alcohol abuse and drunk driving are the most widespread and severe alcohol related problems being encountered by college students each year.

Perhaps it is their new found freedom or the intense peer pressure, but whatever their reasons are, it is imperative to understand what triggers college students to drink excessively and then drive irresponsibly. By understanding the causes, it will be easier to determine solutions to help overcome such problems.

Cause # 1 – Risky Behavior

Based on research, the youth shows tendency to become involved with riskier behavior throughout their adolescence. Such behavior involves the experimentation with alcohol at different levels leading to excessive drinking and alcohol abuse. Aside from experimenting with alcohol, their riskier behavior also includes drinking and driving for fun and a dose of adrenaline rush.

Cause # 2 – Peer Pressure

Peer pressure has always played a major role in teen drinking, including the attitude parents have towards drinking. Environmental behavior causes of excessive drinking and drunk driving are a sign of the multifaceted relationship between the values instilled in college students and their emotional development. As such, college students who have parents and peers who are heavy drinkers, will accept drinking as a social past time and they will likely have the same interest towards alcohol.

Cause # 3 – The Media

It is undeniable that media influences are also a cause of drinking and driving among college students. In fact, anyone can attest that drinking is being heavily promoted through television, movies, advertisements, radio and the internet. Youths are exposed to these influences even before they reach college and when they start college life, the taste of freedom triggers destructive behavior.

Cause # 4 – Physical Factors

Studies also show that young people have a reduced tolerance to alcohol. This is due to certain physical factors such as reduced fat and body weight to muscle ratios that increase the negative effects of alcohol. Sadly, when this type of tolerance and excessive drinking are combined, the risk of drunk driving is inevitable.

Drunk Driving In Today’s Society

Widely accessible and easily promoted, alcohol has become a standard part of American lifestyle, mostly encountered among those in college. Until strict and consistent measures are taken against college students who continue to drink excessively and drive drunk, alcohol will still have a major role in their lives. Sadly, many college students think that when they get behind the wheel after drinking, they will not get caught. However, there are sobriety checkpoints where police randomly check drivers who may be driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs. According to Suhre Law & Associates of Lexington, Illinois, There are a multitude of impairment indicators that police look for when observing drivers at a sobriety checkpoint. However, the primary signs that every driver should be aware of include the following: odor of alcoholic beverages and other intoxicating drugs; slurred speech; watery and/or bloodshot eyes; alcoholic beverage containers or drug paraphernila; difficulty producing license/registration when asked; inconsistent or misleading responses to questioning; detection of alcohol from a PBT (portable breath test); failure of FST’s (field sobriety tests). These are just some of the most common ways a police officer looks for signs of impairment.

Unless society addresses the possible causes of alcohol abuse and drunk driving in college students, the trend will not subside. These causes should be dealt with as a whole, as the effects on one college student will most certainly affect others

Valerie Benson is a freelance writer who specializes in various legal topics. She offers information about driving under the influence, the consequences of DUI charges and the latest apps and devices to help prevent and assist in different road crimes.


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Author: SmartStudent

SmartStudent is an educational portal that provides information & advice to aspiring students. regarding applying to university, choosing a course, what to take to university, finding student accommodation and much more.

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