Students at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge may have heard of recent data gathered by the National College Health Assessment II and the Core Alcohol and Drug Survey showing that LSU students have a higher rate of drinking and driving than most other colleges in the nation. For many residents living in the area, that is an alarming fact.

According to the Alcohol and Drug Survey, 88.6 percent of LSU students drank alcohol in the last year, and drinking and driving rates at LSU are around twice the national average. On a national level, 15.2 percent of students drive after drinking alcohol, while 31.5 percent of LSU students reported drinking and driving. According to sources, most DWI tickets in East Baton Rouge are issued in the fall.

Those familiar with the trend say that long walking distances and crowded buses influence the decision to drink and drive, as well as misunderstandings about how impaired you have to be for driving to be dangerous.

Experts on the issue say that there really is no amount of alcohol that can safely be drank before driving. Even those who drink regularly will not respond to small amounts of alcohol in the same way. Hydration, food consumption, stress, medication, and sleep all affect how alcohol impacts the body function.

The survey was part of a set of surveys which inquired about sexual violence, stress, time management, impediments to academic success, exercise and nutrition, and campus safety. LSU’s Health Center Health Promotions staff plans to use the survey to publicize important issues affecting students and to plan programming.

Source: lsureveillie.com, “LSU drinking and driving rates double the national average,” Austen Krantz, September 8, 2011.