Rise In Drug Crime Arrests At University Of South Carolina
The recent release of the University of South Carolina’s Division of Law Enforcement and Safety’s (DLES) annual security report reveals that 2010 drug arrests on USC’s Columbia campus and in residence halls doubled figures from 2009. While arrests for liquor law violations by USC students were down considerably, the number of disciplinary actions for on-campus underage drinking went up 60 percent, according to included data from the Office of Student Conduct. Crime statistics reported in the study came from DLES records as well as booking reports from the City of Columbia Police Department and the Richland County Sheriff’s Department. The data compiled also includes information on arrests for sex offenses, robbery, burglary, motor vehicle theft and other serious crimes, which indicated a slight increase in theft crimes.
“Statistically, you will find that marijuana is the biggest illegal drug of choice on campus,” DLES associate director Eric Grabski told The Daily Gamecock, adding that campus police also encounter cases of sale or possession of harder drugs. USC’s policy on student drug use mandates “strict enforcement of laws concerning the possession, consumption, and distribution of illegal drugs and controlled substances as set forth in the South Carolina Code of Laws.”
Student drug and alcohol arrests can pose tremendous challenges for college students who have no previous experience with the criminal justice system. The impact on a young person’s life can be particularly harsh if the charges are accompanied by allegations of assault, disorderly conduct or other criminal offenses. Regardless of the combination of offenses, a criminal record or disciplinary sanctions can have a severe impact on a promising future.
A Columbia Drug Possession Attorney Can Explain a College Student’s Rights
Students arrested for DUI, underage drinking, drug trafficking, marijuana possession or any other campus crime must aggressively defend their legal interests and liberty. A conviction on a seemingly “minor” offense can have long-term effects for a student who will soon be starting a career or moving on to graduate school. The value of effective representation from a South Carolina criminal defense lawyer is the first lesson a college student must learn in the aftermath of an arrest.