Posted by Phoenix DUI Attorney Nick Alcock:
It’s the middle of August and, for the majority of you, school is back in session. This can be a very exciting point in your life, especially if you are heading off to college for the first time. No longer under the constant watch and constraints of a parental unit means experiencing the freedom to try new things which often includes alcohol. Without preaching to anyone out there, please be aware that irresponsible college drinking can easily end up getting you arrested, and the consequences could follow you around for many years ahead. Even college students of legal drinking age need to be concerned as they can also be held liable for alcohol violations.
There are many ways college drinking can get you arrested. The first one is Underage Possession or Consumption. Although common, it comes with big risks. Some states will suspend an underage drinker’s driver’s license, even if a motor vehicle wasn’t involved. There may be exceptions, however, if an underage drinker is on private property or if a family member provided the alcohol. Another common one is Public Intoxication and Disorderly Conduct. These commonly used crimes punish unruly or obnoxious behavior. But for the charge to stick, a violator must be in a public place – a technicality that could be key to a student’s defense. The next one many individuals may be unfamiliar with – Social Host Laws. Holding a house party where alcohol is served opens the door to potential legal liability. Laws may hold you responsible for drunken guests who drive away from your party and end up hurting someone. Hosts, including groups like fraternities and sororities, can face potential liability for failing to supervise their parties, especially if someone is hurt. Let’s not forget about Public Urination. When you gotta go, you gotta go. But going No. 1 in public, or on someone else’s private property, is a common way for drunken college students to get arrested. Indecent exposure charges are also possible, for obvious reasons. This can actually be charged as a felony. Saving the most serious charge for last – Drunken Driving. Arizona comes down extremely harsh on DUI. It can generally include jail time, hefty fines, driver license suspensions, and the installation of an ignition interlock device. Repeat offenders and those who get into crashes or cause injury or death can fare far worse.
The best advice is to avoid unlawful situations. But if you do find yourself arrested for some type of college drinking-related charge, help is available. By calling Alcock and Associates today at 602-989-5000, one of our experienced criminal defense attorneys may be able to get your charges dismissed, reduced, or perhaps lessen your punishment to alcohol education and community service.