Friday, October 4, 2013

Alcohol Safety Tips for College Students

by Joy Spencer

Every year students around the country end up in hospitals from injuries caused by alcohol abuse. Keeping alcohol out of the hands of minors is a priority for the OLCC.  Working cooperatively with our partners at University of Oregon, Eugene Police Department, UO Police Department, City of Eugene, representatives from area businesses and neighborhood leaders, we each bring something unique to the table that helps educate new students and returning students about alcohol safety and liquor laws.

Below are a just a few tips to help college students both under 21 and over 21 to be responsible. 

Under 21?
Using a Fake ID
  • It’s a Class C misdemeanor for anyone to misrepresent their age. If you are convicted, you can lose your driving privileges for up to one year.
  • Did you know that if you’re using someone else’s ID, the person who owns the ID can also be held responsible?
College Parties
  • Choose not to drink until you’re 21.  It keeps you physically safe and out of trouble.
  • Make sure you are with a friend you can trust to help you make good decisions.
Tempted to Drink?
  • There are stiff legal penalties for consuming alcohol if you under the legal drinking age of 21. If you’re caught with alcohol, you can be fined and/or required to perform community service. You might also be required to have an alcohol assessment and treatment program.
  • Alcohol use can result in a trip to the ER, hospital, morgue, and/or a criminal record.
  • Alcohol use can also lead to unplanned parenthood, sexually transmitted infection and disease.

Over 21?
Providing Alcohol to a Minor
  • Even if you’re legal to drink, it’s not okay to give alcohol to someone underage. Providing alcohol to a minor is a Class A misdemeanor. Penalties are: first conviction: $350 fine. Second conviction, $1000 fine. Third or subsequent conviction: a fine of $1,000 and not less than 30 days of imprisonment.
  • Even if you don’t buy the alcohol, providing a place for minors to drink alcohol is a Class A violation.
Throwing “Parties”
  • Did you know that you can be held liable for any injuries, damages, or even death caused by someone else who obtained alcohol from you?  It’s best to protect yourself when drinking with friends.  Make sure everyone who is drinking is over 21 and have a house plan to deal with folks who’ve had too much to drink. Provide guests a safe way for them to get home if they need it.
  • It doesn’t have to be your house for you to be responsible – it can be a camp site, hotel room, or any other rented/leased location.
  • If liquor laws are being broken, any property that is involved in the “party” can be confiscated – glasses, furniture, DJ equipment, etc.  If there is a conviction, your items become property of the state.
Don’t be afraid to call for help
  • If you’re in a situation where someone is in danger, don’t be afraid to call the police.  It’s much better if you are proactive in getting professionals involved to take care of the situation, than if you try to cover it up and someone gets seriously hurt. 
For more information on Oregon’s Alcohol Laws and Minors:

Statewide, OLCC regional offices partner with most state and private universities in Oregon, including both the University of Oregon and Oregon State University, on numerous programs to curb underage drinking.  The OLCC Eugene Regional office also participates in the UO Substance Abuse Coalition and the once-a-term Campus Partners meeting at which UO, neighbors, city officials, and partners share info and strategize about issues of mutual interest.