At the law office of Mark B. Arthur, PC, we are looking forward to the start of another school year as much as proud parents and excited students are. The beginning of college is an important milestone for college students in Virginia and across the country. As a parent, you want your child to have a memorable first year, but you also want him or her to stay safe throughout the year.

You may remember alcohol playing a significant role in your college days, which might make you apprehensive for your child. As you know, many college students drink at parties and sporting events, as well as at bars with their newfound friends. While drinking responsibly can be a fun part of the college experience, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence points out that many college kids abuse alcohol by binge-drinking or becoming dependent upon it. Misusing alcohol can result in numerous legal and safety issues. Each year, about 599,000 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 are injured in alcohol-related accidents, particularly drunk driving. Students may also be at risk of physical or sexual assault and property damage charges related to alcohol consumption.

While you are helping your child pack for college, it may be a good idea to talk to him or her about the risks associated with alcohol and to assert your expectations and advice. Your child may be receptive to your reasons for concern when you are honest, open and understanding with your discussion. As our page explains, your child deserves fair representation if he or she faces alcohol-related charges.