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Why do college students drink alcohol while underage?

On Behalf of | Feb 29, 2024 | Criminal Defense |

It’s illegal for most college students to drink alcohol. There are some who are 21 years old and older, but they are often seniors or even graduate students. Most freshmen are 18 and won’t be able to legally drink for the next three years.

That said, it’s clear that many college students do drink while underage. If you’re a parent of a teen who will soon be attending college, you may be concerned that they’re going to make this decision and wondering why they would do it when it is clearly illegal. Here are some potential reasons

It’s a social lubricant

For one thing, many students view alcohol as a social lubricant, and it helps them meet new people and have fun experiences. A student may not know anyone and may live in a brand new city, so alcohol can help them calm their nerves and fit in with their peers. Social acceptance is very important at this age, so people will drink just because they feel peer pressured when they’re around others who are also drinking.

They have more free time

Another thing to consider is that college students are in a unique position. They may not be working yet, and they generally don’t have family obligations. As a result, they wind up feeling like they have a lot of unstructured time and alcohol is readily available at college.

Binge drinking culture

Finally, binge drinking sometimes happens on college campuses, which is when students quickly consume numerous drinks with the intention of becoming intoxicated. Students who have never consumed alcohol before may feel excessive pressure to do so while living within this drinking culture.

If your teenager is facing serious criminal allegations, be sure you know what legal steps you can take to protect their future.