When you stepped onto campus at a North Carolina college, it may have been the first time in your life you were going to be away from home for an extended period of time. As you unpacked your things and set up your dorm room, you no doubt had many hopes, dreams and a few worries about the year ahead. Adapting to college life can be challenging.
Wanting to fit in and finding ways to kick back and enjoy yourself when the rigorous academics become stressful are desires that a majority of new college students have, especially in their first couple of years. You might wind up going to some parties, which could lead to trouble, especially if you’re at a place where they’re serving alcohol to underage students.
Whether your campus is dry or wet, underage drinking can create problems
You might attend a school that has a “dry” campus, meaning that no alcohol is allowed on the premises, regardless of your age. A wet campus, on the other hand, might actually have a social room where alcohol is served to students who are of legal age to consume it. You might also visit an off-campus residence of an older student where alcohol is being served at a party.
In any case, if you haven’t yet reached age 21, then it is illegal in most circumstances to consume alcohol in North Carolina. There are several exceptions to the rule, such as if you’re a culinary student and are tasting wine during a cooking class. It’s important to know the laws as well as your rights and how to defend them if a problem arises.
Loss of scholarships, DUI arrest, personal embarrassment and more
Like many college students, you might not think it’s a big deal to drink a beer or two or consume a different alcoholic beverage at a party. If you wind up getting pulled over in a traffic stop and the police officer arrests you on suspicion of DUI, though, it can activate a series of events that immediately hinder your ability to accomplish your goals. The following list shows several ways where being charged with underage drinking can ruin college life:
- You could lose scholarships. If you’re relying on a scholarship to afford college, that could be a big problem.
- School administrators might suspend or expel you from enrollment.
- If you’re arrested and face charges, you’ll have court appointments that you must attend, which could interfere with your ability to keep up with your academic obligations.
- You could incur fines and spend time behind bars.
- You’d undoubtedly have to tell your family, at some point, that you’ve been arrested.
- If you’re an athlete, being charged with underage drinking might cause suspension or elimination from your team (which could lead to the loss of your scholarship).
No matter what the exact details are of the events that led to you facing charges for underage drinking in college, the sooner you reach out for support, the better. Seeking support from someone who is well-versed in North Carolina’s underage drinking laws could prove invaluable in many ways. In fact, it may be the best thing you can do to help mitigate the circumstances and get things back on track so that you can keep working toward your goals in college.