In recent years, there is an increasing number of colleges in Maryland and in states across the country that are enacting policies in order to deter students from underage drinking. According to the Center for Disease Control, alcohol is the most commonly used drug by youth in the United States. Underage drinking causes more than 4,300 deaths each year and plays a role in destructive behavior, unprotected sexual activity and poor school performance.
Maryland law prohibits anyone under the age of 21 from consuming alcohol. It also bars individuals under the age of 21 from possessing alcoholic beverages. However, there are several exceptions to these laws. For instance, a minor may drink alcohol at home as long as a family member over the age of 21 is there to supervise. Minors may also consume alcohol as part of a religious ceremony.
As more states legalize or relax rules related to marijuana, drug-related car accidents may increase. That's why the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has asked the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to create universal rules to test for drugged driving. The board also asks that the NHTSA provide Maryland and other states with more insight into how it can combat drugged driving.
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.
In November, Maryland authorities raided a house where a party reportedly left the air so infused with alcohol that it registered a .01 on a Breathalyzer test. According to sources, the party was being held by the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity in Bethesda.