Do wet and dry college campuses affect crime rates?

Many colleges across the country are known for having a party atmosphere. Some have tried to curtail this by putting restrictions on alcoholic beverages on campus. A study of four-year colleges that enroll at least 10,000 students shows that the vast majority of colleges are still wet campuses, meaning that alcoholic beverages are allowed. Around 73% of these non-profit schools were wet.

The impact of alcohol allowed on campus and crimes is one interesting point in the study. The Clery Act requires that schools that accept student aid programs from the federal government submit statistics on crime. Putting these crime statistics on campus together paints the picture about the impact alcohol has in certain areas.

Do alcohol bans do any good?

There is some question about whether banning alcohol does any good on these campuses. Some claim that it discourages the party culture that many schools have become famous for. Others note that it doesn't do anything except drive the alcohol consumption underground.

The study found that dry campuses have a higher alcohol-related arrest rate. Per 10,000 students, wet campuses have an arrest rate of 16 students while dry campuses have a rate of 19 students. This was the rate only for those who were arrested on campus, as the Clery Act doesn't require reporting for off-campus crimes.

Coastal Carolina University is cited in the study. It had 1,070 arrests and disciplinary actions per 10,000 students. This put the institution at the top of the list for schools in the study based on the number of infractions per student.

What types of crime occur on college campuses?

Vehicle theft and burglary are two of the more common crimes reported on all college campuses. However, they are more prevalent on wet ones than dry ones. Alcohol can contribute to aggressive behavior. Alcohol is present in approximately 40% of all cases of someone imprisoned for a violent crime.

Drug-related crimes are also common on college campuses. Wet campuses have more reports of infractions related to drugs and alcohol, but this doesn't mean that students on dry campuses are any less likely to use these substances.

Because of the free atmosphere present on college campuses, young adults sometimes fall into illegal behavior. When they face charges for these actions, they can have serious repercussions. Mounting a defense against the criminal case is the first step in minimizing these consequences.

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