According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, approximately 80% of all college students drink and at least half of them drink excessively. This excessive consumption of alcohol, known as binge drinking, is often linked to a higher incidence of crime, including rapes and violent assaults. In fact, the risk of violent criminal activity involving college students under the influence of alcohol is so high that some experts and New Jersey criminal defense lawyers are now warning parents to send their children to a college near home where they can keep an eye on them or research the prevailing environment at the college, especially its drinking policies, before admission.
Growing Alcohol-Crime Link Concerns New Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyers
The recent murder trial of George Huguely is a case in point. Huguely was convicted of the second degree murder of Yeardley Love while under the influence of alcohol. During his trial, Huguely admitted that he consumed a few drinks before he met Love at her apartment, but his attorneys denied that he killed her in a fit of alcohol-induced rage. A jury disagreed and found Huguely guilty.
Even before the attack, Huguely was known for his sex-, sports- and alcohol-infused lifestyle. Prosecutors alleged that had consumed at least 20 alcoholic beverages before he confronted Love.
There is enough evidence of binge drinking at colleges for parents of college students to be concerned. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, most college students who seek treatment for substance abuse addiction are treated for alcohol dependence and not drug abuse. Experts blame the high incidence of alcohol use on an expanding culture of excessive drinking in colleges. The media also frequently publishes annual lists of ”party colleges,” which gives young, impressionable minds the idea that widespread drinking in college is normal and expected.
The New Jersey criminal defense lawyers at Helmer Paul Conley and Kasselman represent persons charged with sex crimes, drug crimes, DUI, murder, fraud and other crimes across New Jersey.