You’ve seen the movies, and you’ve been to college. Even before your child left, you knew about the reputation colleges have for underage drinking and binge drinking. But, now that you’re a parent, maybe you want to dig a little deeper into what the statistics say.
There is some good news: Georgia is one of the states with a lower level of underage binge drinking. The bad news, however, is that it is not the lowest state and that the percentage of people who binge drink underage is 12.32%.
Yes, it could be higher. It’s nearly twice as high in North Dakota (21.42%), which is the highest state on the list. But this is still significant use. If your child has 10 friends, one of them is a binge drinker. If they’re in a fraternity or a sorority with 200 members, that’s nearly 25 underage binge drinkers that they see on a regular basis.
Plus, this is a pretty specific category, in that students in the study had to be binge drinkers and underage drinkers, and it had to happen in the past month. If a student took a month off, they didn’t qualify. If they drank every day, but only had a few drinks, they didn’t qualify. If they were 21 and still engaged in heavy binge drinking — which your child may be exposed to or influenced by — they didn’t qualify.
When you take all of that into account, it gives you some idea of the real level of drinking that takes place on college campuses. It is common. It is an issue. It can cause students to get arrested and face serious charges.
At 18 or 19 years old, your student has their whole life ahead of them. You do not want one decision made at college to ruin all of their plans — and your plans for them. If they do get arrested on alcohol or drug charges, you absolutely need to understand all of the legal steps you can take as a family.