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Student Alcohol Violations in Maryland

A student can be charged with any kind of alcohol related violation from driving under the influence of alcohol to what is probably the most common, which is unlawful possession of alcohol by a minor. Usually, people who are in college and under the age of 21 are going to have some experience or exposure with alcohol whether that is at fraternity parties or other off-campus events they are participating in. The criminal consequences for alcohol related crimes can include a fine, jail time, and extensive periods of probation.

Often, because these young people do not have experience with alcohol and how their body handles the alcohol, they may act in ways that draw attention to them from police officers or other authority figures, which could result in them being charged with possession of alcohol by a minor, public intoxication, disorderly conduct, or other things of that nature. Those are the most common types alcohol related offenses. Any student facing an alcohol violation charge should consider consulting with a Maryland student defense lawyer about building a strong case against the charge.

Public Intoxication

Public intoxication essentially means that a person is in an area that is public, whether that is a street, sidewalk, parking lot or in many cases, even establishments that they might think are not subject to public intoxication rules, and under the influence of alcohol and acting in a manner that might be disruptive to people around them. Their actions may also be having an impact on their own safety.

The consequences for public intoxication can be anything from a very minor nominal fine all the way up to the possibility of facing jail time depending on how the officer charges them and how serious the offense is in the officer’s mind.

Differences Between Intoxication and Minor Possession

Public intoxication is actually going to have more to do with how a person’s behavior is affecting the safety of the people around them. Possession of alcohol by a minor is a little bit different because that actually means that they are in possession of an alcoholic beverage when they are under the age of 21. Even if they are not intoxicated, it can still be charged as a crime.
Although the two charges differ, they can be levied simultaneously. One might see that in a situation where they were intoxicated and also in a public place where they had a drink in their hand at that time. In most circumstances they might be charged with public intoxication as well as being a minor in possession of alcohol.

College and University Disciplinary Actions

Colleges and universities usually have some sort of an internal review of alcohol related offenses and that internal review is going to involve some sort of board of student conduct. Usually alcohol related offenses are considered serious but no more serious than other crimes that might take place on campus, like sex offenses.

When alcohol related offenses are being addressed by university officials, often – particularly if it is somebody’s first offense and the actions were not particularly outrageous, they would expect the university officials not to take these allegations quite as seriously as they would something more significant. The individual might be ordered to participate in some alcohol education classes or perhaps community service. An evaluation might be done to determine whether or not some more significant or serious treatment is needed to take place for the individual.

Consequences on a Person’s Education

Alcohol related violations, particularly if there is something that repeats over and over again by a student could result in disciplinary action by the university. That disciplinary action could ultimately cause a person to be removed from the university premises completely.
That would then have a negative impact on somebody’s education because they would not be able to continue or finish their studies with that school.

Alcohol Free Zones

Alcohol free zones are parts of the university campus that are not permitted to have any alcohol on them regardless of a person’s age. Many times, dorms where underclassmen are housed and are reserved for underclassmen are going to be alcohol free zones.
For example, if a person has a friend or an older sibling that was visiting them for the weekend that was over 21 and could legally be in possession or drink alcohol, that wouldn’t eliminate their requirement to comply with university policy and remain alcohol free in that particular part of the university.

If a Student Needs Medical Attention

Many campuses have emergency buttons all over campus that a person can push when they feel like they are in trouble and authorities or some assistance will be called. Most people also have cellular telephones and universities have emergency three digit numbers that somebody can call. Simply dialing 911 from their phone could be the easiest way to make sure that assistance is called immediately.

Consequences of Seeking Medical Attention

Many universities have implemented new policies to address the issue of consequences in these circumstances. For example, the University of Maryland recently implemented a policy that would allow for students that found themselves in situations where they were in danger, whether it was medically or in some other way, to be able to call the police to assist them without facing any consequences for alcohol or drug related accidents that they might have been engaged in before they found themselves in that trouble. This is to encourage people to report a dangerous situation that requires medical assistance or the assistance of police.