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All Press Releases for December 03, 2013 »
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Sober student penalized due to school's zero-tolerance alcohol policy

Underage drinking is a common problem across the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that more than 4,700 teenagers are killed every year for alcohol-related reasons
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    December 03, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Underage drinking is a common problem across the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that more than 4,700 teenagers are killed every year for alcohol-related reasons. Minors drink 11 percent of all alcohol consumed in the U.S., and more than 90 percent of it is due to binge drinking. In a recent survey, 24 percent of high school students said they'd recently ridden in a car driven by someone who had been drinking, while 8 percent admitted to having driven after drinking at some time during the past month.

Underage drinking and driving is also prevalent in Nevada. In 2011, 75 people under the age of 18 were arrested in our state, while 9 people under 21 were killed in alcohol-related crashes, according to The Century Council. Many schools and communities attempt to educate students on the importance of not drinking and driving, and of the wisdom of finding a safe ride home if they've been drinking.

Zero-tolerance policies that may not encourage responsible decisions

However, a recent event involving a Massachusetts honor student may indicate that some schools' zero-tolerance policies toward alcohol and drug use may discourage kids' attempts to find safe rides home. The Post-Standard reported on the story of a high school senior who responded to her friend's request to pick her up at a party at which she had been drinking, and to get her home safely rather than risk driving herself. Police who arrived at the party just after the student did realized she was not a party attendee and was sober, and didn't arrest her. However, authorities at her school demoted her as the captain of her volleyball team and suspended her from playing five games, saying she violated their zero-tolerance alcohol policy by being at the party while police were present, despite the fact that she was there only as a sober ride for her friend.

Contacting an attorney

Nevada laws against underage drinking are strict, in order to prevent youth from hurting themselves or others in accidents. According to the National Institute for Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, people under 21 in Nevada face getting a DUI for driving with a blood alcohol content of only 0.02 percent. They can face serious consequences, including fines and losing their driver's license. Therefore, it could be well worth it for someone who has been arrested despite not having had anything to drink to dispute their charges.

It could be possible that a minor who is caught at a party where underage drinkers are present may be arrested on drinking charges, despite being sober. In most cases, an arrest is based on a police officer's discretion. Minors arrested on alcohol-related charges have the right to be represented fairly in court, and to dispute their charges if they feel they were wrongfully arrested. An experienced drunk driving defense attorney will be able to help those with drunk driving charges understand what they face, as well as to attempt to have some penalties reduced or dropped.

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