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Back-to-School Season Most Dangerous Time for Binge Drinking

Media Type: Press Release

DENVER—While the first few weeks of the school year can be some of the most exciting for college students, they are also some of the most dangerous when it comes to alcohol and binge drinking.

Defined as four drinks for women and five for men in a two-hour period, binge drinking is a particularly high-risk factor for U.S. college students. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA):

  • Four out of five college students report drinking, even though drinking is illegal until the age of 21
  • Almost 40 percent report binge drinking in the past 30 days
  • College students have a higher rate of binge drinking and a higher incidence of drunk driving than their non-college peers
  • The first six weeks of a student’s first year are especially high-risk for heavy drinking and alcohol-related consequences, including death or injury, assault, and sexual abuse

According to data released by Alcohol Monitoring Systems, which manufactures and markets alcohol testing technologies for criminal justice applications, just under 10 percent of the nearly 435,000 criminal offenders they’ve monitored with their continuous transdermal alcohol anklet, which tests for drinking every 30 minutes, 24/7, have been between the ages of 18 and 23 years old. But their rate for drinking violations is 21% higher than that of older clients.

“This data is especially troubling for this age group,” says Lou Sugo, AMS vice president of sales and marketing. “The people we monitor 24/7 are the highest-risk criminal offenders and have been identified as having serious alcohol misuse and abuse issues. And they face substantial consequences for violations,” says Sugo. “Those consequences can create barriers to education and employment for the rest of their lives, as well as the high risks for assault, sexual abuse and drunk driving.”

The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) reports that 95 percent of all violent crimes on college campuses involve the use of alcohol by the assailant, victim or both.

The NIAAA also notes that each year 1,825 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die from alcohol-related injuries, and an additional 599,000 college students receive non-fatal injuries while drinking. Furthermore, approximately a quarter of college students report that drinking has negatively impacted their academic performance, from missed classes to doing poorly on assignments and exams.

About Alcohol Monitoring Systems, Inc. (AMS)
Established in 1997, Alcohol Monitoring Systems, Inc. (AMS) is the world’s leading provider of alcohol testing technologies for the criminal justice industry. The company’s flagship Continuous Alcohol Monitoring (CAM) technology, launched in 2003, revolutionized the way courts, agencies and treatment providers monitor and manage alcohol-involved offenders. In 2013 the company launched the SCRAM Systems® suite of electronic monitoring technologies, which includes SCRAM Remote Breath®, SCRAM GPS™ andSCRAM House Arrest®. AMS employs 178 people worldwide and is a privately held company headquartered in Littleton, Colorado.