Increasing threats for underage drinking

By Kelcee Mader |

A night of drinking can change a life forever. Not only can drinking and driving effect the intoxicated driver, but it can also effect the passengers of the vehicle as well as innocent bystanders and the families of the injured.

A person is killed every 48 minutes because of a drunk driver, according to a report by Don’t Die Drunk, a non-profit organization pushing for FDA approved breathalyzers in all public places that serve alcohol.

Although the United States has seen a rise in drinking and driving, it’s colleges and universities that have seen the most drastic increase of drunk driving.

“Despite ongoing public campaigns about the dangers of drinking and driving, an estimated 2.8 million college students drove under the influence in 2001. That’s half a million more than in 1998,” said “Drunk Driving, Alcohol Deaths, Up Among College Students,” an article by Fox News that reports the study Magnitude of Alcochol-Related Mortality and Morbidity Among U.S. College Students Aages 18—24.

Drinking and driving is a problem facing many colleges and universities, but it is not the only one. Many students admit to riding in a vehicle with an intoxicated driver. This can cause even more harm because more people can become involved in an accident. While drunk drivers are already putting themselves at risk, they are now responsible for the lives of their passengers as well.

“Drinking and driving among college students is still a major public health problem, new research reveals, with one in five admitting to driving while drunk and 40 percent acknowledging they have ridden with a drunk driver,” said the article “One in Five College Students Admitted to Drunk Driving, Study Found” by US News.

“Yes, I admit, I have ridden in the car with someone who has been drinking,” said Rebecca Currie, a Flagler College student. “Looking back, it’s probably not the best idea I’ve had but we were all just drinking and having fun. They seemed fine so I didn’t question it.”

Colleges and universities across the country are trying to find way to prevent students from drinking and driving. Several institutes have programs set up to prevent students from drinking and driving.

Many campuses are trying to make students more aware of the problem and educate them on the effects drunk driving can cause, according to the article “Legal Ways to Prevent Drinking and Driving on a College Campus” by Some college campuses have even established transportation programs to drive students while other schools have heightened their security and enacted a zero-tolerance policy, according to the same article.

No matter which programs the colleges and universities adopt, allowing awareness to become more widespread could save at least one life and make others think twice before the letting themselves or others drive while intoxicated.

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