Towns along the Florida coast getting ready for Spring Break

Spring Break is coming up soon, and many Florida college students are getting ready for the event. Law enforcement is also ready for underage drinking.

It may still be the middle of winter, but spring is fast approaching - and many college students in Tampa and across the country are likely to welcome Spring Break. For students, drinking in college may be considered a rite of passage, and it isn't restricted only to time off from school. There is nothing wrong with drinking responsibly upon reaching the minimum age. However, many college students face criminal charges due to underage drinking. This is especially true in Florida, where Spring Break has become synonymous with heavy partying among college students.

Rite of passage can be costly

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, more than 3,300,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 get behind the wheel after having too much to drink. This may result in serious penalties, including fines, driver's license suspension and jail time.

Why is college drinking so prevalent? For some, drinking signifies the increase of independence and transition to adulthood. While many college students drink socially, some turn to alcohol to help them cope with demanding class schedules and the stress of studying and tests. According to the Prevention Resource Center, the following situations often involve college drinking:

• Sporting events

• Fraternity or sorority parties

• Casual drinking in residence halls

• Drinking in bars near college campuses

As previously stated, Spring Break is a popular time for drinking among college students. Many can legally drink and do so without facing drunk driving charges. However, according to the Northwest Florida Daily News, countless others participate in the Spring Break ritual despite being underage. The fake ID trade tends to boom in college campuses across the country, especially just before classes let out for spring. Several towns along the Florida coast have begun measures to curb underage drinking during Spring Break, from increasing law enforcement presence to implementing strict lodging requirements.

What are the reasons someone might need an attorney after being charged with underage drinking? A criminal case is not something that anyone should undergo alone, especially when young and inexperienced. This might result in consequences that are unnecessarily harsh. An underage alcohol or DUI conviction has the potential to affect a person for years, and may impact a young person's ability to complete his or her education or find employment. An experienced Tampa defense attorney may be able to get some penalties reduced or dropped, as well as advise those with criminal charges on what is likely to happen during each stage of the legal process.

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