Making an informed decision about drinking is your personal responsibility. No one can make this decision for you. The choices you make about alcohol use could be among the most important decisions you make in college and throughout your life. Please be responsible.

Know Missouri’s laws about alcohol.

The legal drinking age in Missouri is 21.

Respect your university polices about alcohol.

Violating these polices can change your status as a student.

Know how much you are drinking and how alcohol affects your body.

Visit mybac.missouri.edu for an estimated BAC.

Watch how much your friends have had to drink.

Help them if they appear to be in trouble.

Decide what your expectations and limitations are before you head out.

Don’t drink to get wasted or smashed.

Don’t mix alcohol with other drugs.

As a student at your university, it is important to remember that breaking state or local laws and violating campus policy could affect your status as a student. Depending on your campus policies, you could be held accountable through an on-campus conduct system when you are in violation of local and state alcohol laws. Educate yourself on your campus student conduct code.

What is the drinking age?

The legal drinking age in the state of Missouri is 21. It is against state law to consume, purchase, or possess alcohol if you are younger than 21.

What will happen to me if I am caught drinking as a minor?

Illegal consumption, possession, or distribution of alcohol by a minor is a misdemeanor. If convicted, you may be fined up to $1000 and/or imprisoned for up to one year. In addition to fines, you will need to pay court costs and attorney fees.

Consider your future

question mark Irresponsible drinking can cause major disruptions in your most important job right now: school. It’s not uncommon for drinking to lead to sliding grades, academic problems, even suspension or expulsion.

Also, most employers now perform a background check on potential employees. This means that they will be able to see alcohol or drug-related convictions on your record. That includes impaired drinking, using a fake ID, serving underage students, and disorderly conduct. It is also important to keep your online presence in mind. Pages, photos, and texts are stored for years to come. How would you explain some of those ‘crazy nights’ to an employer or grad school?

How are you measuring?

Having a “drink” is pretty vague in terms of knowing how much alcohol you have consumed. Mixed drinks vary in their potency. Make sure you know exactly how much alcohol is in your drink, and request that it be mixed with non-carbonated beverages. Things like soda move the alcohol though the bloodstream quickly. Eating a mean high in protein before drinking will allow alcohol to pass through your body at a safer pace.

one drink

What are the laws about fake IDs?

In Missouri, it is illegal to obtain, transfer, or use any means of identification for the purpose of manufacturing and proving or selling a false identification card to a minor for the purpose of obtaining alcohol. Penalties for this misdemeanor offense includes fines and/or possible prison sentence.

What about off-campus parties?

If you host an off-campus party with alcohol and charge admission, the person accepting the money could be charged with selling alcohol without a license. Sentences for this violation involve fines and jail time. Police respond to off-campus parties when there are noise complaints or parking problems. ID’s are checked if police have reason to suspect that minors have been drinking. You risk being arrested if you are a minor.

Is it always unsafe to drive after drinking?

Yes. Make sure you always arrange for a designated driver who will consume no alcohol if you plan to drink. If everyone in your party has been drinking, call a taxi or a sober friend to pick you up. Never ride home with “least drunk” person in the group.

Can my driver’s license be suspended or revoked due to drinking?

What is known as the ‘Abuse and Lose’ law and the ‘Zero Tolerance’ law can affect your license. Abuse and Lose results in suspension or revocation of a driver’s license when a person under 21 years of age is guilty of any alcohol related traffic offense (possession, consumption, or use of alcohol while operating a motor vehicle), possession or use of any controlled substance, or the modification or misrepresentation of driver’s license. Zero tolerance means that if you are found to have more than a .02 BAC then you are guilty of a misdemeanor and shall have your driver’s license suspended or revoked.

Visit mybac.missouri.edu to estimate your BAC

*MCHBS 2014