Most parents whose teens will be college freshmen in the fall are understandably concerned about the availability of alcohol on and around campus. Even though their kids are too young to legally drink, parents know from their own college years that it’s not hard to find parties with copious amounts of alcohol — and no ID required.
Binge drinking is a particular concern. It can lead to alcohol poisoning and drunk driving. It can also lead to sexual assault. In one study that followed over 1,000 young college men through their first five semesters, approximately 18 percent admitted to committing at least one sexual assault during that time.
When researchers examined the role of binge drinking in those assaults, they found that it was often more than the excessive drinking that made men more likely to assault women. They determined that it’s the settings in which this binge drinking occurs, such as bars and parties, that can lead college students to behave aggressively towards others. This includes forcing themselves on non-consenting women — or women who’ve lost the ability to give consent or fight off the men because of their own intoxicated state.
People facing charges of sexual assault or other crimes who try to mitigate the legal consequences by arguing that they were too drunk to know what they were doing may not succeed when making that case to a judge or jury. We’ve seen high profile cases like the one involving a Stanford University student a couple of years ago. However, the judge who gave that young man what many considered a lenient sentence faced a serious backlash from the community.
If your college student is facing criminal charges that are related to his or her consumption of alcohol, it’s essential that you don’t let him or her go through the justice system without experienced legal guidance.