Incoming college students should plan for success now

With the fall semester just around the corner, now is the time for college students, including incoming freshman, to make plans for the new semester. One of the things that you need to think about if you are going to head to Virginia Tech is how you are going to handle nights out with your friends.

There are a few things to plan for now so that you aren't facing criminal troubles in the future. These tips, including understanding the legal drinking age, should be primary factors when you are deciding what you are going to do when you go out with your friends.

Know how alcohol affects you

It is possible to face criminal charges for drunk and disorderly conduct in Virginia. If you are 21 years old or older and plan on drinking, you should remember how alcohol affects you. By limiting your alcoholic beverages to what you know you can handle without acting unruly, you might be able to avoid facing these criminal charges. Even though these charges are misdemeanors, they can still have a profound impact on your life.

Remember the legal drinking age

The minimum legal drinking age in Virginia is 21 years old. If you are younger than this, you can't legally consume alcoholic beverages here. The age limit is important because it can have an impact on what blood-alcohol concentration limit you are allowed when you drive. If you are underage, the limit here is .02 percent. People who are 21 or older can have a BAC of up to .08 percent. Anyone who has a BAC of .15 percent or higher can face enhanced, or aggravated, drunk driving charges.

Make plans to get home

If you are going out with friends, make plans to get home safely. This can mean that you contact a ride sharing service, use public transportation, or have a designated driver. Making these plans ahead of time can help you to enjoy yourself without having to worry about possibly facing criminal charges at the end of your fun night out.

Use the buddy system

The buddy system can help you to avoid making bad choices during the night. Make sure that you have a buddy whom you trust and who you will listen to. Your buddy should tell you when he or she thinks that you've had enough to drink. In some cases, a designated driver is the best option for a buddy since this person won't be clouded by his or her own drinking.

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