Universities are a popular destination for DUI incidents to occur. Most students reach the legal drinking age during college and many attend parties that offer alcoholic beverages. Since this may be your first time trying these drinks, you may not have a set plan on how to get back to your room safely or you do not know how blood-alcohol concentration works.

The consequences for your lack of experience dramatically increase if you get behind the wheel. According to a recent report by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI), drunk driving arrests at colleges don’t look to be slowing down any time soon. The study found a 60.9 percent increase in DUI offense in state colleges between 2016 and 2017.

The statistics

DUIs are part of the TBI’s roundup of Group B offenses, which include liquor law violations and accounts of drunkenness. The largest group of offenders are males between the age of 18-24.

September has the most incidents out of the year. September is the first month of school for most colleges, so many have celebratory parties welcoming students. There are far more DUI cases involving alcohol than drugs.

The consequences

This is especially concerning given the ramifications this can have on a college student’s future. Not only would you face hefty fees and mandatory jail time at minimum for your first offense, but it can negatively impact the rest of your college experience as well as post-grad life.

Any plans you have for the rest of your stay on campus could be erased from this mistake. You might lose funding for your scholarship, be forced to change schools or majors, be unable to join any sports or Greek life and have a harder time securing a job after graduation.

How to prevent it

Once you are of legal drinking age, create a plan if you are going to drink. Take turns amongst your roommates on who will be the designated driver on a certain night. If you do not have a ride, contact a taxi, Lyft or Uber to get you safely back to campus.

These seem like simple solutions, but studies show that many college students don’t use them. Do not become a part of those annual statistics. It is not worth risking your financial needs and reputation for a drink.