Friday, October 21, 2016

Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week ~ Consequences of Underage Drinking

Over 4,300 Americans under the age of 21 die from an alcohol-related incident every year. Missouri is responsible for over 100 of those deaths (Source: CDC). Drinking under the age of 21 is illegal, but unfortunately, criminalizing the act has not seemed to really help - a shocking number of high school and college students under the age 21 still consume alcohol on a consistent basis.

October 17-21, 2016, is Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week. It is a week designed to raise awareness of the potential danger alcohol consumption can be for college students. Universities host multiple programs to educate students and raise awareness of alcohol issues on their respective campuses. In honor of Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week, our Lake of the Ozarks law firm is dedicating our blog to the consequences of underage drinking.

Legal Consequences

The legal drinking age in the United States is 21 years old. Individuals ages 20 and under are breaking the law if they consume alcohol, and as a result they may be subject to legal consequences. These consequences may include:
  • Mandatory community service
  • Suspension of driver's license
  • Criminal fines
  • Jail time

It can also have farther-reaching effects. Because it is a criminal offense, a conviction of underage drinking may also go on your criminal record indefinitely. Having a criminal conviction can make it more difficult to secure employment, housing, loans, quality education, and more.

Other Consequences

The legal consequences underage drinkers risk should not be taken lightly, but unfortunately they barely scratch the surface of the potential consequences. Underage drinking puts people at greater risk for a variety of other consequences, including:
  • Abuse of and addiction to alcohol, drugs, and other substances
  • Car accidents
  • Alcohol poisoning
  • Suicide

College students specifically face another array of potential consequences, such as lowered GPA, suspension from classes, and (depending on other circumstances) potentially even expulsion from their university.

The younger a child is when he begins drinking, the more at-risk he is for suffering any of these other consequences. Because the consequences range from lowered grade point average to serious illness and even death, it is easy to see why underage drinking is such a severe issue in our society.

Gibbons Law Firm Is Here To Protect Your Rights

Our Lake of the Ozarks legal team strongly encourages individuals under the age of 21 to refrain from drinking alcohol until they are old enough to participate without incurring legal charges. Even then, however, the other dangers of alcohol consumption can still be present. No matter how old you are, it is important that you respect the dangers alcohol may present so that you can take steps to keep yourself and others safe.

If you find yourself faced with criminal charges, our criminal defense attorney in Camden County MO will be here to ensure that your rights are protected. Our goal will be to ensure that you don't suffer unnecessarily harsh consequences. For more information on our criminal defense services in Osage Beach MO, call 573-348-2211 or visit

Your Trusted Legal Resource

Gibbons Law Firm
4075 Osage Beach Parkway, Suite 300
Osage Beach, MO 65065
(573) 348-2211

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No attorney-client relationship is created by the publication of this blog.

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