Drunk driving among college age group between the ages of 18 and 25 is one of the most common social problems that are related to the use of alcohol. Drunk driving does not endanger the life of the drunk driver and passengers, but also other people who are on the road (Parks, 2010). Many lives being lost and continue to be lost as a result of driving under the influence of alcohol. There is the need to come up with measures to prevent individuals under the college age from driving under the influence of alcohol. The environmental strategies used in the action plan are not assured to changing the behavior of every college student, but they can certainly help in changing the aspects of college and community culture that supports drunk driving among individuals in the college age group.
The safety of college students and those around them is of great importance. There is the need to ensure that the alcohol prevention program put in place is working. The alcohol prevention program should take the form of a serious action plan that needs to be implemented by educational, legislative and community support. The action plan comprises of the following action points;
Action point 1: An increase in the enforcement of laws that dictate the minimum drinking age.
The minimum legal age that one needs to attain in order to start drinking according to the law is a well studied alcohol control policy. As compared to other programs that are generally aimed at the youth who are in the college age bracket, increasing the legal age required for buying and consuming alcohol is considered to be the most successful (DeJong, 2005). If the law can implement a higher legal drinking age then there will be a decrease in consumption of alcohol. This is because of the decrease in the amount of alcohol being sold to minors. There should also be efforts made to reduce false age identification in order to make this law more effective. This will in turn lead to a decrease in the number of fatal road accidents caused by drunk driving. This should be carried out as a joint effort between college lecturers and the community.
Action point 2: Increased publicity, implementation and enforcing laws aimed at reducing alcohol-impaired driving.
The number of deaths due to drunk driving can be reduced through setting the legal content of alcohol in the blood for college age group to 0.2 % or even lower. This can also be implemented trough using sobriety checkpoints around colleges and campuses (DeJong, 2005). Administrative license revocation laws should also be implemented incase a college student is found exceeding the legal blood content. This will make these college students careful and avoid going beyond the stipulated legal content of alcohol in their blood when driving. They would not want to risk their licenses being revoked. College students should be educated against the dangers associated with drunk driving.
Action plan 3: Screening and counselling college students.
All the college students who visit health centers in campus should undergo screening for alcohol abuse. College students abusing alcohol and those at risk of alcohol abuse should be given personal counselling. The counselling should entail how alcohol can easily sabotage their academics and lead to death in road accidents (Miller, 2008). They should also be counselled on how they can handle social situations where they can access alcohol freely.
Action plan 4: Restricting the density of alcohol retail outlets around college compounds.
There should be a reduction in number of alcohol outlets around colleges or recreational areas where college students like to spend their time (DeJong, 2005). The number and location of these outlets can be restricted either directly or indirectly through policies that make it difficult to obtain licenses. There would be a reduction in the consumption of alcohol by individuals in the college age if alcohol is sold far from their colleges or areas they like spending their time.
Delivery of Information
This information can be delivered through law enforcement officers to the college students through college presidents, student and community leaders. The information can be delivered through seminars and sessions that are aimed at sensitizing college students of reduction of alcohol consumption.
Statistics on Drunk Driving Among the College Age-group
According to research, drinking and driving by college students is considered to be a major public health issue. One in every five college student admits to drive while they are drunk. About 40% of college students have acknowledged that they have ever been drove by a drunk driver. Another worrying fact is that the tendency of driving under the influence of alcohol starts when a college student attains the minimum legal age for driving. College students very limited experience in driving and hence making drunk driving by college students more hazardous.
Measuring Success of Action Plan
In order to find out whether the action plan is successful or not fresh statistics can be taken on the number of accidents due to drunk driving among college students. If the number of accidents have decreased then it means that the action plan implemented was effective.
- DeJong, W. (2005). Preventing alcohol-related problems on campus: Impaired driving : A guide for program coordinators. Bethesda, Md.?: Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention ;.
- Miller, J. (2008). A Drunk Driving Prevention Program for Your Students. The American Biology Teacher, 199-205.
- Parks, P. (2010). Drunk driving. San Diego, CA: Reference Point Press.