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College Students and Drunk Driving


Delaware County Personal Injury Lawyers discuss drunk driving among college students. For many young adults, college is more than the pursuit of higher education. It is the first time they leave home and experience newfound independence. For some students, this freedom leads to experimentation with alcohol and drugs.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism call harmful and underage college drinking “significant public health problems.”

The estimates are that around 1,800 college students die every year in these kinds of accidents.

Factors Impacting Alcohol Use Among College Students

So why is alcohol use, and in particular binge drinking, such a prevalent part of college life? There are many reasons students are likely to start drinking in college:

  • Academic and social pressures
  • Availability of alcohol on campus
  • Inconsistent enforcement of underage drinking laws
  • More unstructured time away from parents and guardians

Whatever the reason may be, college alcohol usage continues to be a nationwide concern.

Penn State and Drunk Driving

A recently published report combined the best pre-season ranked college sporting teams with the drunk driving rates for their local area. Of twenty-five schools included in the report, Penn State ranked tenth, with a local drunk driving death rate of 3.68 annual deaths per 100,000 people.

The report utilized data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), along with the counties that are home to the top 25 college football teams, according to Sporting News. While all these deaths cannot be blamed on college students, the corollary cannot be ignored.

What are The Consequences of Drunk Driving in Pennsylvania?

Besides the obvious and grave danger to yourself and others, if you choose to drink and drive, there are also some very real practical consequences for breaking the law. In Pennsylvania, the penalties for DUI vary, depending on how many offenses you have, and your blood alcohol content.

First offenses generally come with no jail time or license suspension, and fines around $300. Second and third offenses may result in jail time, higher fines and penalties, and the suspension of your license for a year.

If you refuse to take a breathalyzer test, you risk even more severe penalties.

Preventing Drunk Driving at College

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) reports that drunk driving is most common among young adults between the ages of 21 and 25.

Most experts agree that colleges need to work harder to educate students about the emotional, physical, and criminal consequences of drunk driving. They can also do more to enforce underage drinking laws on campus, while expanding services to support students as they navigate the challenges of college life.

Delaware County Personal Injury Lawyers at Eckell Sparks Protect the Rights of Drunk Driving Victims

Despite all we know about the dangers of drunk driving, it remains a pervasive problem across the country. Innocent victims injured in preventable car accidents caused by another person’s negligence have legal recourse. Delaware County personal injury lawyers at Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. use crucial evidence surrounding your accident to recover the compensation you deserve for your pain and suffering.

We handle the practical details, so you can focus completely on your recovery. To learn more about your legal options after a drunk driving accident, schedule a consultation by calling 610-565-3700 or contact us online. With locations in Media and West Chester, we represent clients throughout Pennsylvania including Delaware County, Chester County, and Montgomery County.