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Parents, do not believe these 3 myths about college drinking

Whether you just sent your kids back to college or you have a senior in high school, you need to prepare for the college partying scene. It is no secret that things can get wild on and off campus, but you want to avoid getting that dreaded phone call to bail your child after an arrest.

Become familiar with the truth about the laws concerning alcohol and discuss these myths with your child so he or she can make smart decisions about drinking.

Myth 1: Underage drinking is legal on private property

Perhaps your college student believes that as long as the party is in someone's home and not the dorms, it is not a problem. Unfortunately, while true in some states, it is not the case in Florida. No matter where they are, including their parents' homes, adults under 21 cannot consume or possess alcohol, and adults 21 and over cannot knowingly allow underage drinking.

Myth 2: The first DUI is no big deal

College kids may think the first offense for a DUI is just a slap on the wrist, but the penalties are high and reach beyond the courtroom. In addition to paying a fine and spending time in jail, your child will temporarily lose his or her driver's license. This may present a challenge for getting to school, work and your house for visits. Your auto insurance is likely to increase as well, and your child may also face disciplinary action from the college.

Even being in a car with a drunk driver or an open container of alcohol can lead to charges. Furthermore, it is important that your child know what to do in a DUI traffic stop to avoid self-incrimination.

Myth 3: Designated drivers are safest

There is so much emphasis on drinkers having designated drivers, but did you know they may not be sober either? The University of Florida in Gainesville revealed a study showing that nearly 40 percent of designated drivers should not be behind the wheel. Safer options are using public transportation and lift services or spending the night at a friend's house.

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