Stating the obvious

Drinking, while fun, can bring much grief and legal problems if you don’t do it responsibly.


According to Campus Security Manager Lanny Fritz, officers deal with belligerent drunks from the Den and concerts from time to time, although it doesn’t happen very often with students. The people who stir up trouble are mostly off-campus visitors, or "townies," who have no ties to the university.


If you’re found intoxicated by Campus Security but they can talk and reason with you, they’ll probably send you home with your friends or call a cab. If you’re uncooperative however, they will bring you to the Campus Security office and call Calgary Police. And yes, Campus Security does have a holding cell.


While you’re cooling your heels, Campus Security will write up an incident report that will be forwarded to your dean for review. This all could trigger a non-academic misconduct, and consequences range from suspension to expulsion. And it goes on your permanent record. This depends on what happened during the incident and how many reports Campus Security has on you.


There are dangers off campus too. We all know drinking and driving should never be mixed–here are the possible consequences.


If the police pull you over and the breathalyzer finds you over the legal limit of 0.08 blood alcohol content, your license is automatically suspended for 24 hours. Even if it’s under 0.08, you can still be charged with impaired driving.


You will then receive a 21-day temporary license to sort your affairs. Next, your license is suspended for three months. After that period you go to trial. If you’re found guilty, your license is suspended for one year, you are fined up to $2,000, and to get your license back you must attended an alcohol awareness court. As an added bonus, you must also pass a road test.


A second offence will net you 14 days in jail, a fine up to $2,000 and a three-year suspension of your license. If you offend a third time, it’s a five-year license suspension, 90 days in jail, and a fine.


Impaired drivers causing injury or death receive a mandatory five-year suspension whether or not it is a first, second or third offence.


If you drive while your license is suspended, you can be fined or sent to jail and six months will be added to your suspension. Your vehicle will be seized and impounded for 30 days, regardless of who owns it.


Since May 2003, the new "graduated" license carries a two-year period where new drivers cannot have any alcohol in their system. If caught to the contrary, there’s a 90 day suspension and your probationary period can be extended.


Finally, your insurance will skyrocket. Any conviction will affect your insurance for three to six years. If you’re 18-25 you could be paying $5,000 to $6,000 for six years before your rates decrease.


However, young people seem to get the message, according to Calgary Police Breath Test Coordinator, Constable Richard Butler.


"The average age of impaired drivers is 35, male or female," said Butler. "Younger people tend to designate a driver. Unfortunately, lack of experience, aggression and alcohol is still a concern."


So don’t be stupid. Designate a driver, take a cab or drink at home. It’s not worth it in the end.

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