UGA Police: Underage binge drinking a deadly problem

By: Stephanie Baker
By: Stephanie Baker

Police say underage college students are taking binge drinking to a new extreme.

News 12 is on your side with the dangers of the college party atmosphere.

Freshman Darcey Olsen got arrested for having alcohol in a freshman dorm.

"You live in a building with like a thousand of your peers...so there's no way not to have fun," she said.

But the party went horribly wrong back in January for her neighbor Lewis Fish. He took a deadly combination of drugs and alcohol.

"Right after that happened there was a whole different feeling...people were all shook up," Olsen said.

Campus police chief Jimmy Williamson says overdoing it is a growing trend. Binge drinking means about five in a night, and he says the average for students in Athens is 13.

"If you drink so much so fast...it's a depressant and it will shut your body down," said Williamson.

Underage drinking is a risk over four hundred students took in the past several years, and those are just the ones who got caught.

In Athens, the downtown scene is a popular hangout for many students. But some bar owners we talked to say things can get out of hand.

Wild Wing manager Kim Wallace says younger students tend to get more out of control.

"Someone says something and the next thing you know punches are flying, bartenders jump over the bar...and security throws people out," Wallace said.

Here's some other bad behavior Williamson sees: "Screaming, throwing rocks and bottles into the road, breaking parking gates off, stealing signs."

"It's a big change to have a lot of freedom, it's easy to mess up," Olsen said.

Away at college...new freedom, new parties, and consequences that can kill.

UGA police responded to roughly a thousand drug and alcohol related calls in three years. They say the majority of those are underage students.


Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1212 Augusta, GA 30903 Main Telephone: (803) 278-1212 Newsroom: (803) 278-3111 Fax: (803) 442-4561
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