Does ASU Have a Drinking Problem?

Every year, my office receives hundreds of phone calls from ASU students and their parents about their underage drinking charge.  Police officers and students generally refer to underage drinking as Minor in Possession of Alcohol (MIP) or Minor in Consumption of Alcohol (MIC).

The stories are all very similar.  Student was walking back to dorm or at a house party when an officer approached them and asked for the identification.  Officer then goes on to get them to admit to drinking by saying that he smells alcohol on their breath and issues them a citation for underage drinking.

In most other states, underage drinking is not a crime that is pursued by police officers and prosecutors.  In Arizona, however, underage drinking is a class 2 criminal misdemeanor.  You read that correctly, you are now facing a criminal charge.  This means, if you are convicted, the charge will forever be on your criminal history.  A criminal history may significantly affect your future employment and education opportunities.

Why is ASU so Hard on MIP and MIC’s?

The question is, why is ASU so hard on underage drinking?  For decades, ASU has been known as a party school.  It is one of the largest schools in the country and houses thousands of students within a very small area. ASU has received some very bad press in the past few years for student deaths, assaults, rapes, robbery and various other crimes caused by alcohol consumption.  While I can see Michael Crow’s concern, the reality is, when a school has thousands of undergrads in such a small area, there is going to be underage drinking.  ASU students aren’t doing anything different than students at other campuses throughout the country.  The issue is, at ASU, there are more students drinking because ASU has a lot more students than other campuses

The problem I have as a preeminent Tempe defense attorney is twofold.  First, because underage drinking citations are ubiquitous, parents are scared to send their children to ASU.  They either believe that the police are being too tough on the student body or that their kids are partying and not studying.  For these reasons, many of the clients I represent only go to ASU for their first year.  Although ASU is attempting to curb underage drinking, doing so in a manner that significantly reduces retention rates is not the answer.

Second, underage drinking convictions put ASU students at a significant disadvantage when they enter the job market.  The first thing potential employers do to narrow down applicants is to eliminate candidates with criminal histories.  Why is ASU creating such a major disadvantage for their students?

Arizona State University Lawyer Giving Clients Sound Advice

If you are a parent or student reading this article because you have been charged with MIC or MIP, please call my office to discuss your case for free.  We represent close to 100 students a year for underage drinking and have an exceptional reputation amongst former clients and lawyers within the legal community of providing clients with zealous reputation.  Don’t listen to the advice of your fellow students, neighbors or coworkers, get accurate advice from my office.