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Study on binge drinking may help curb underage drinking

At times, Ann Arbor students get caught up in peer pressure and make mistakes that they will eventually regret. Underage drinking can be one of those mistakes. However, like everyone else, students have rights that need to be respected.

A recent study showed that people have a tendency to over-pour alcoholic beverages. Specifically, bar tenders over-pour wine by 10-12 percent more than the standard serving size of five ounces. A co-author of the study said that this is because people usually judge volume by height. Unfortunately, today, glasses are a lot wider, thus, the volume can seem deceptively small.

The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism related the study results to college drinking, saying that approximately four of five students drink. According to that figure, half of those students practice binge drinking. Drinking, at times, is seen as part of the college experience, especially among freshmen who feel the need to belong and want to meet social expectations. However, there are some people who overdo it. Binge drinking, together with the inclination to over-pour, can be a dangerous combination.

In Michigan, anyone under 21 years of age is prohibited from drinking or even carrying alcoholic beverages. Thus, underage drinking penalties are not exactly just a slap on the wrist. Possession of alcohol alone can merit a $100 fine together with mandatory attendance in a rehabilitative program or community service. A second offense, considered a misdemeanor, will also include a possible 30-day jail sentence.

Being convicted can cause serious consequences that can negatively affect the person's life. That is why Ann Arbor students in this predicament should not be afraid to exercise their legal rights. Otherwise, they may be unnecessarily subjected to costly penalties, a license suspension and community service. Their educational future could also be jeopardized as well as their reputation in the community. While underage drinking is not a good idea, people who are accused of it are entitled to protect their rights.

Source: The Stylus, "Binge Drinking A Dangerous Fad Among College Students," Lisa Rickman, Oct. 8, 2013

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Stacey M. Washington,
Attorney and Counselor

3913 Jackson Road, Suite 2
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48103
Phone: 734-274-6567
Toll Free: 888-769-0091
Fax: 734-929-9731

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