Underage Drinking/ Alcohol

Alcohol & Underage Drinking on Campus

The high levels of stress, difficult academic pursuits, newfound freedom, and especially the participation in fraternities or sororities on a college campus make underage drinking one of the most common violations of school policy.  Possession and consumption of alcohol when a student is underage is likely to incur criminal charges on top of college discipline.  A student caught in the hearing of both the school and the criminal court system can have their academic and professional career jeopardized.

There are many different alcohol related crimes that a student can commit.  The most common include:

  • Possession of alcohol under legal age
    Students caught possessing alcohol on campus when they are underage will likely have to face a disciplinary panel.  It is illegal for a person to possess alcohol if they are under 21.
  • Drinking alcohol under legal age
    A student may face arrest and criminal charges if they consume alcohol under the legal age of 21.
  • Purchasing for a minor
    It is illegal for adults over 21 to purchase alcohol for underage individuals.  They could face criminal charges as well as college disciplinary action.
  • Driving under the influence (DUI)
    It is illegal for anyone to drive while they are under the influence of alcohol.  While any student caught driving under the influence can face criminal charges, the repercussions for those under 21 in a DUI case can be very severe.

Pennsylvania law considers possession and consumption of alcohol a summery offense.  It is typically enforced with fines that increase with every subsequent violation.  Students can defend themselves from the charges if they have consumed alcohol underage, but they are with another person who is having a medical emergency.

How Can Alcohol Related Violations Affect Me on Campus?

Students charged with alcohol related crimes can expect that local law enforcement will work with the campus administration to share information with each other.  There are a number of repercussions that a student can face.  They will be the rare and lucky minority to just receive a warning.  Loss of housing, suspension and expulsion are more likely to await them.  The severity of punishment will typically match the severity of the crime.  Drinking often inhibits a person’s judgement and can lead to more violations.  Colleges and law enforcement may consider the potential effects of impairment in the case.

Manchester & Associates Defense

Contact Manchester & Associates today for help if you or your student is facing alcohol related accusations.  An attorney can help the student step though both the legal and college processes while protecting their rights.