I see college students in my office every day and after being in Columbia for over 20 years, I've almost seen it all. Recently I have had the opportunity to visit with various fraternities and sororities and have listened to your questions and concerns. Based on your input, I'm writing a series of blogs to help answer your questions. Good advice is hard to come by, so we'll save you some time and effort with these next few pointers on how to stay out of trouble, or what to do once you've found yourself in it.
Living on or near campus is ideal for any college student – your classes, friends and every resource you could possibly need are only a short distance away. The police are also nearby, which can sometimes lead to run-ins with the law. The Columbia Police Department and University of Missouri campus officers patrol all areas of campus, especially on weekends – there were nearly 100 minors in possession and 16 DWIs given out on campus in September 2014 (over 20 offenses in one weekend alone).
The University of Missouri and the majority of other Missouri college campuses are dry, meaning that alcohol is technically not permitted on the property at any time; with that being said, off campus parties and prohibited on-campus drinking can be quite common. Statistics from the Missouri College Health Behavior Survey show that out of the more than 34,000 students that attend Mizzou, 86% of them drink on a regular basis. If you do make the decision to drink on or near campus, be informed about the possible legal consequences.
When speaking to a client who has been arrested for an alcohol related charge, such as MIP or DWI, I often hear "I didn't feel that drunk." Being intoxicated has different meanings for different people - while some feel the effects immediately, others often will drink to excess. Studies show that 4 out of 5 college students drink alcohol.
The term "moderation" is also important when describing alcohol use. So, how many drinks constitute moderate use, and how much is one "drink?" First, a drink is considered to be any alcoholic beverage that delivers a ½ ounce of pure ethanol, which includes the following:
- one can or bottle (12 ounces) of beer
- one shot of liquor (1½ ounces of vodka, rum, whiskey, etc.)
- one glass (5 ounces) of wine
- 10 ounces of a wine cooler
Women produce less of the stomach enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase, resulting in more absorption of alcohol than men. Subsequently, they are more likely to become more intoxicated on less alcohol than men are. Although the legal limit is .08, it only takes .05 ( on average about 2-3 drinks in 1 hour) for alcohol to have an effect on the brain – this includes impaired judgment, increased heart rate, and relaxed inhibitions. At .10, it is likely you will have impaired coordination, a delayed reaction time as well as impaired peripheral vision, which are all indicators of intoxication that police officers are trained to look for. Anything above a .35 puts you at risk for cardiac or respiratory failure and even death by alcohol poisoning.
If you do find yourself in legal trouble, the attorneys of Holder Susan Slusher, LLC are available to help. Do not hesitate to contact our office with any legal matters you are battling – we will fight for your rights. Contact our experienced legal team at (573) 499-1700 for a free initial consultation.