It isn't uncommon for college students in Maryland and throughout the country to engage in underage drinking. However, underage drinking may result in schools being named as defendants in lawsuits or in a loss of prestige. To reduce their liability, colleges may create a code of conduct that students must live up to. They must also create anti-drug and alcohol policies to comply with the Drug Free School and Communities Act Amendments of 1989.
Failure to comply with the legislation could result in a school losing its ability to receive federal funds. These programs must impose penalties on those who break the law and make treatment programs available. Furthermore, schools must publicize the dangers of drinking or using drugs. Schools may also take disciplinary steps such as expelling those who drink while under the age of 21. Other steps may include denying financial aid or requiring a student to go to rehab.
Colleges and universities may also restrict where students may drink while on campus. For example, they may make it illegal to drink while in a stadium parking lot or in the dorms. A school may also ban alcohol companies or similar businesses from sponsoring an event. Students who wish to have alcohol at an event on campus may have to ask permission before doing so.
Those who are under the age of 21 are not allowed to possess or consume alcohol at any time. Doing so may be a violation of state and federal law. College students who are convicted of underage drinking may spend time in jail or face other penalties such as being removed from school. An attorney may help an individual resolve the matter in a favorable manner. This may include enrolling in a rehab program in lieu of other penalties.