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Prevention of DUI and Alcohol Risks on College Campuses

This page includes information for community and four-year campus law enforcement officials on preventing campus underage drinking.  These resources were provided as part of a project by the Virginia Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators to develop a pilot alcohol education initiative to prevent underage drinking and impaired driving by college students. The project was funded through the Highway Safety Office of the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. Subsequent to this report, VACLEA implemented BuzzKill, a campus prevention education program; and subsequently launched #partysafeva on twitter and, a resource page for students and others involved in underage drinking prevention.

Studies confirm the benefit of incorporating enforcement interventions into programs in colleges and communities directed at alcohol use among young people.

Publicized and intensive enforcement of minimum drinking age and drinking and driving laws as part of campus programs have led to significant reductions of BAC drinking and driving among teenagers and young adults.

The leadership and partnership of law enforcement on community and campus alcohol prevention coalitions is essential for success, mutual support, and consistent coordination of messaging and strategies.

Download Full Report: 
Prevention of DUI and Alcohol Related Risks on College Campuses

Download Individual Report Sections:
(PDFs for download)

  1. Introduction to VACLEA Alcohol Education Project; Overview of Collegiate Alcohol Use as a Public Health Concern

  2. Law Enforcement Works; The Evidence of Effectiveness: High Risk Drinking and DUI Prevention and Intervention; Selected Virginia Campus Prevention Resources

    A study of alcohol enforcement practices at 343 U.S. colleges via surveys of directors of campus law enforcement found 615 of colleges indicating proactive enforcement of alcohol policies, especially at intercollegiate sporting events. Least frequent enforcement was at fraternity/sorority events.  Half of campus law enforcement departments worked closely with local law enforcement but desired more cooperation. Half reported no barriers to alcohol enforcement on campus. Large colleges and public colleges reported greater enforcement levels.

  3. Issues in Prevention: Role of Enforcement in Prevention Newsletter Edition

    Researchers found that “An aggressive enforcement stance by deans, and other such college leaders, may be an important element of an effective college alcohol policy and be associated with reductions in student high-risk drinking rates overtime, perhaps reduced uptake of heavy drinking in college. A unified stance among college administrators of aggressive policy enforcement and action around drinking violations, and greater awareness of and involvement in enforcement by college leaders, e.g., through giving reminders at events and residence meetings, may help to set a tone on campus which discourages underage and heavy drinking by students .... While enforcement of alcohol policies may be challenging, colleges’ multi-level efforts to address student drinking, when properly implemented and consistently enforced by college staff working in unison at all levels could eventually help to lower rates of students’ heavy drinking, and therefore lower the morbidity and mortality among our nation’s most important resource—its young people.”

  4. Newer Media Accelerate Youth Alcohol Consumption; Avoiding Pitfalls Associated with Social Marketing and Norms Messaging Campaigns; Campus Alcohol Intervention Web Links

    Use of social media related to alcohol marketing predicted alcohol consumption and engaging in risky behaviors.34 The rapid growth in the use of new social networking technologies raises new issues regarding alcohol marketing, as well as potential impacts on alcohol cultures more generally. Young people, for example, routinely tell and re-tell drinking stories online, share images depicting drinking, and are exposed to often intensive and novel forms of alcohol marketing… Social networking systems are positive and pleasurable for young people, but are likely to contribute to pro-alcohol behavior environments and encourage drinking.

  5. The Drug Free Schools and Campuses Act; Colleges and University Strategies to Positively Influence Campus Alcohol Use

    “While college students may know intellectually that drinking and driving is not a smart thing to do, their common sense can be overwhelmed by the powerful process of the social drinking ritual. For such students, drinking is primary. How to get home is an afterthought … Another challenge to reducing alcohol impaired driving by college students is that many of them have driven while impaired without incident many times. This fact can sustain a driver’s belief in his or her ability to avoid a crash after drinking, even when the person is beyond the point of legal impairment.”

  6. High Risk College Groups; Comprehensive Campus Community Interventions

    “Comprehensive community interventions address college age and underage drinking at multiple levels: coordinate multiple city departments; have clear measurable objectives and strategic plans; combine education and law enforcement; include screening and early interventions; use data to plan and evaluate; involve private citizens (inclusive); involve youth”

  7. Community College Considerations; Sampling of Community College Approaches

    The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism 3-in-1 Prevention Framework

    1. Identify students at higher risk through screenings, interviews or referrals by trained staff and faculty;

    2. Engage in unique student population strategies such as e-social marketing messaging and interactive, web based alcohol education modules that can be accessed by students at a time or place of their choosing;

    3. Cooperate with community and nearby campuses to share resources and visibly and actively intervene with off-campus locations where students may be most at risk of heavy consumption (e.g. nuisance enforcement operations, preventing sale of alcohol to minors, enforcing social host ordinances, using media to increase visibility of enforcements.

  8. Sample Virginia Campus Initiatives and Resources

    Four year and community colleges in Virginia are complying with federal requirements to enact policies, share information, provide counseling resources or referral, and are engaging in numerous alcohol awareness, prevention, and intervention activities. Several include alcohol concerns as part of their student threat assessment.

  9. Report Recommendations; References