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Some guidance for college-bound students

Schools will be starting soon and although when it comes to safety and students, the first thought — and certainly merited — usually regards the safety of younger children.

But older students will be off to college soon. And their safety should be a consideration especially for the parents of first-year college students.

Agents with Ohio Investigative Unit (OIU) are asking parents to have honest conversations with their children about alcohol, laws and the consequences of poor decisions.

“For many students this is the first time away from home, so parents need to discuss with their kids the importance of making good choices,” said Ohio Governor Mike DeWine,” in a media release. “Be candid with your kids, make them aware of the dangers of alcohol.”

The legal drinking age in Ohio is 21 years old. Individuals who are drinking and/or in possession of alcoholic beverages or using a fake ID to purchase alcohol may face criminal charges. Along with criminal charges, they may also face sanctions by their college or university. Getting expelled from school is something no family of a student wants to endure.

Individuals who are going to bars and parties need to be mindful of their surroundings and what is going into their drinks.

According to guidelines provided in the release, before friends leave for a night out, agents recommend they stick together until they are home and to be on the lookout for drink tampering. Anyone who sees someone tampering with a drink should remove them from the situation and contact authorities. Tips to protect yourself and your friends against drink tampering include:

— Know that both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks can be drugged;

— Watch your drink being poured and served; and

— Never leave your drink unattended.

Any good parents will always worry about a child regardless of their age. This certainly includes college age children. Help them look out for themselves by stressing the suggestions provided here. They serve as a solid off-to-school primer to adhere to.

To report underage alcohol violations, contact OIU by calling #677. To report someone tampering with drinks, contact 911.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol’s Ohio Investigative Unit agents are plain-clothed fully sworn peace officers. OIU is charged with enforcing the state’s liquor laws and is the only state law enforcement agency specifically tasked with investigating food stamp fraud crimes. Agents also investigate tobacco violations. Follow OIU on Facebook and on Twitter.

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