New York Colleges Fighting Binge Drinking

“Binge” Drinking among college students has been a big issue in the news recently, highlighted by the August 2008 death of 23 year old Ed Trapasso, a Valhalla resident and recent college graduate who had friends over to celebrate his graduation. Mr. Trapasso is one of 1,700 college students aged 18-24 who die each year from unintentional alcohol injuries, based upon research from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Binge drinking is defined as five drinks in two hours for men and four drinks in two hours for women.

Researchers with the Harvard School of Public Health, found a consistent 44% of students over an 8 year period fit the description of binge drinkers. Binge drinking can lead to alcohol poisoning, which causes vomiting, seizures, slow and irregular breathing, hypothermia (low body temperature) and in more severe cases, death. Dr. Michael Skelly, an emergency room doctor at Phelps Memorial Hospital Center in Sleepy Hollow, found that the number of young people he had treated for alcohol poisoning had more than doubled between 2003 and 2007!

Other annual statistics compiled by the NIAAA for college students who abuse alcohol: approximately 600,000 are injured in DWI accidents and other types of accidents; close to 700,000 are assaulted by another student who has been drinking; almost 100,000 are victims of sexual abuse; and approximately 400,000 have unprotected sex, with more than 100,000 not recalling whether they consented to sexual relations.

Lower Hudson Valley colleges have joined forces to curb excessive drinking, forming the “Westchester Colleges Consortium on Alcohol and Other Drugs.” The group is comprised of law enforcement, community organizations, schools and other organizations. For example, at Purchase College, there is a freshman orientation session addressing drug and alcohol abuse, and the college also requires students to take an online course called “AlcoholEdu”, which aims to have students make more intelligent decisions about drinking. Students are provided with a blood alcohol calculator and instructions to assist friends struggling with alcohol abuse.

Contact The Law Office Of Mark A. Siesel online or at (914) 428-7386 if you are facing a New York drunk driving charge, or any other crime, for a free consultation with an aggressive, experienced lawyer who will explain your legal rights and options.