Binge drinking is a popular pastime among high school and college students. Unfortunately, many of them do not realize how dangerous it is to get behind the wheel following this kind of drinking bout.
A car crash is the main cause of death for teenagers. Consuming any amount of alcohol poses a risk to a young driver, but binge drinking is especially problematic.
What it means
Young people who imbibe alcohol have different drinking patterns than their parents. While the parents may routinely have a glass of wine or a beer with dinner, teens and college students may only drink one day a week, possibly on a Saturday night when they engage in binge drinking with friends. Binge drinking is an activity where a person consumes five or more alcoholic drinks within a time span of about two hours. This will quickly bring the drinker’s blood alcohol concentration level to the legal limit of 0.08% or above.
About the dangers
Health issues associated with binge drinking include liver disease, heart problems, high blood pressure and neurological damage. The latter is particularly risky for those who drive under the influence of alcohol. Because the brain does not fully mature until a person is well into her or his twenties, binge drinking can put a halt to full brain development.
A look at the numbers
Binge drinking is more common among men than women. Those who are younger than 21 admit to drinking large amounts of alcohol during a bout. The Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality notes in a 2015 report that approximately one in seven teenagers is a binge drinker, but only one in 100 parents is aware that this is going on. However, according to the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, young people between the ages of 12 and 20 are responsible for drinking 11% of all the alcohol consumed in the U.S., of which binge drinking attributed to 90%.
College is a time for students to learn and grow, but it is also a time of experimentation with an activity like binge drinking. If arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, a college student will need professional assistance to confront the charge and should promptly explore his or her legal options.