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Study Shows Drunk Driving Still a Major Problem among College Students

In spite of all efforts by college and university authorities to crack down on binge drinking, drunk driving and other alcohol-related issues facing college students, there seems to have been little progress made on this front. In a new study, too many college students admitted to riding with a drunk driver, driving after drinking and driving while intoxicated. Of course, the risk of severe injuries in auto accidents dramatically rises when a drunk driver is involved in the accident.

Researchers at the Center on Young Adult Health and Development at the University Of Maryland School of Public Health followed 1250 college students over four years. The students were interviewed every year about traveling in a car with a drunk driver, driving after having a few drinks and driving under the influence of alcohol.

The researchers found disturbing results. After the first year, more than 40% of the students admitted to traveling in a car with a drunk driver, while more than half said they had driven after drinking. Approximately 20% said they had driven while drunk.

There is one fact that seems to come out from the study – the incidence of drunk driving among college students seems to actually increase as they reach the legally allowed drinking age of 21.

It’s clear from the study that college enforcement and crackdowns are not having the desired result. Part of the reason might be that college deans tend to believe freshmen have a higher risk of drunk driving, binge drinking and other dangerous alcohol-related behaviors, than older students. This study shows that that is not true at all. If anything, the risk of dangerous alcohol- related behaviors actually increases as the student progresses through college. Perhaps it’s time for colleges to reassess their programs to control drinking among students.

The Atlanta drunk driving accident lawyers at the Katz Law Firm represent injured victims of alcohol related car accidents in the metro Atlanta area and across Georgia.