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Are you concerned that your teen driver is a binge drinker?

Let us say that your son is going for his business degree at Georgia Southern. He has a car and commutes from home. You believe he is a responsible driver, but lately, you sense that he may have been drinking at times before driving home from campus.

You know your son faces many new experiences as a college student. Has a new circle of friends introduced him to binge drinking?

How binge drinking works

Your son may have shown little interest in alcohol up to this point, but binge drinking is a popular pastime among college students. It consists of having five drinks or more in a period of about two hours, bringing the drinker’s blood alcohol concentration level to at least 0.08 percent, which is the legal limit for drivers aged 21 or older. As you may know, the legal limit for underage drivers, like your son, is 0.02 percent. He could achieve that after having consumed just one beer, let alone powering down one after another for a couple of hours.

Binge drinking and driving

Many people arrested for driving under the influence are binge drinkers; young people, especially, fit into this category. Alcohol often makes the drinker feel very relaxed, and he mistakenly believes he is perfectly capable of driving a car. The truth is that the alcohol impairs his judgment, and his reflexes will slow down. Alcohol may also adversely affect his vision. It takes hours to reverse the effects of alcohol in the bloodstream, so you have justification for your concern if, in fact, your son has been drinking before driving home from campus.

Avoiding trouble

A criminal defense attorney will tell you that many people charged with DUI do not know how the legal system works. The penalties under Georgia law are harsh, even for first offenders. To begin with, your son stands to lose his driver’s license if he receives a conviction. No one wants to see a young college student take risks that might impact his life for a very long time. Therefore, now may be a good time for you to talk with him about the dangers of binge drinking and driving — just in case there is a connection here between your teen and his new circle of friends.


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