How many college students drink alcohol?

Some college students can legally drink alcohol. When they engage in social events with younger friends, though, they often end up buying alcohol for those who are too young. Most people know that college has a reputation for this type of drinking culture, but have you ever really thought about how many students do engage in it?

One study asked students from 18 years old to 22 years old if they had consumed alcohol over the last 20 days. Now, two-fifths of that age group can legally drink — though it’s unclear if the ages were divided equally in the study — but nearly 60% said that they had done so. You have to assume some of the legal drinkers did not partake, but even if every single one of them did, this still shows that quite a few of them drank while underage.

The same students were also asked about binge drinking, or drinking a lot of alcohol relatively quickly, with the intent of becoming intoxicated. Nearly two-thirds of them said they had done that, showing just how common binge drinking is and the role it plays in this college culture.

Though drinking and buying alcohol for minors may be common practices on college campuses, they are still illegal. The same is true in nearby apartments and off-campus living situations. If you are the parent of a teen who got arrested for their part in one of these social events, make sure you know what criminal defense options you have. You need to keep the student’s future and education on track.