Why Many College Students Drink and Drive

Posted on: 14 October 2016

Many college students continue to drink and drive even though the dangers of driving under the influence (DUI) have been well documented. The dangers of DUI are even worse for college students, since most of them have limited driving experience; inexperienced driving plus drunken driving makes a particularly dangerous combination.

Why They Do It

According to some research, here are two major reasons why college students continue to drink and drive:

  • The belief that they are still safe drivers even when intoxicated
  • The belief that they can control the consequences of drunk driving

Unfortunately, both of these beliefs are mere fallacies. The scientific proof shows direct links between increased car accidents and impaired driving. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), here are some of the ways alcohol can impair your driving.

  • Impairs your vision and makes it difficult for you to track moving targets, such as cyclists on the road.
  • Difficulty in steering the car.
  • Difficulty in concentration; for example, you may find it difficult to concentrate on avoiding other road users when your mind starts wondering.
  • Reduced reaction time; for example, you may find it impossible to brake in time when a car swerves into your view.
  • Difficulty in controlling the speed of the car.

Therefore, college students should not delude themselves that they can drive safely even when under the influence of alcohol. There is no scientific research that shows that some people, let alone inexperienced college drivers, are immune to the effects of alcohol when behind the wheel.

In addition to the increased risk of road accidents, those who drink and drive should also be aware of the legal consequences of DUI. These consequences include driving-license suspension, jail time, monetary fines, and the use of ignition interlock devices.

You cannot escape all of these consequences if you are convicted of DUI. For example, you may avoid jail time but get sent on probation, get sentenced to rehabilitation, or have your driver's license suspended. In short, you should be prepared to face the consequences of your actions one way or the other.

In short, if you are a college student, try your best not to drink and drive. However, if you do get arrested for drinking and driving, you are still entitled to your legal rights, which include the right to retain a lawyer such as a DUI attorney. Take advantage of that right to minimize the potential penalties.