Campus drinking leads to death of ISU architecture student: Who is to blame?
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The first question is who bought and served her the alcohol?
Previously we covered the ISU student's death from being struck by a train back in April. Toxicology reports are back from the lab and are reported to show her BAC as "more than twice the legal limit." The news report indicates sources identified her as having "spent time at Project 20-20, a bar allowing anyone 18 and older to get in." She was a 19-year-old architect student from Woodbridge, Virginia.
The second question is what did the bar do wrong?
My guess is the City fathers in Ames will visit with the owners of Project 20-20 about how this under-age student got drunk and about the liquor license issued by the City of Ames. Questions will be raised about whether or not she had a valid ID or if other students bought and gave it to her. There is a duty to properly supervise patrons of the bar. As the bar owner you can't close your eyes to the obvious. Let's assume the latter for a minute. Just like the guy on the other end of the cell phone who knows their friend is texting and driving and then gets killed, there is a lifetime of asking yourself: "Why did I buy them booze that night? If I hadn't, would they still be alive today?" If you buy alcohol for an underage person they become your liability, if not under the law, then at least in your conscience. You go to graduation and they aren't there. You get married and they can't attend. You have a baby and your friend lies buried six feet under. You see someone who reminds you of them and the rest of your week is filled with regret. It never goes away.
The third question is do you need therapy?
There are other people besides the grieving parents who, in this instance suffer the consequences of buying booze for an underage coed. So think before you do something really stupid. It is fun and excited to be away from home during the first two years of college but you have to maintain some kind of decency to make it through four-years without mental scars that will last a lifetime. Assuming we have some folks out there with consciences that are bothering them; get therapy and learn how to forgive yourself. And one more thing, let's be careful out there.
The most difficult part of saving someone from an alcohol overdose does not occur in the Emergency Room, nor does it involve a complex medical treatment. The most difficult aspect of an overdose case is making the decision to do something. Fear of possible legal implications (e.g., for underage drinkers), embarrassment, or not having the information to make a decision can also be fatal.
If someone who has been drinking heavily persists in falling asleep, waken him or her. If the person does not respond easily, it is time to call the police emergency number (911) and ask for assistance. Do not assume that your friend will sleep it off or would prefer not to be disturbed. Getting the person home and in bed is not a solution, and may actually place the drinker at risk, because he or she is no longer being observed. If you reasonably believe that other drugs were also ingested, be sure to tell the ambulance personnel. Alcohol in combination with other drugs accounts for about a third of all drug overdose cases in the US.
For additional reading see this post: Teen Safety: How much alcohol can you drink before killing ... - 4/9/09 Posted on 5/17/2010; Ames Train Death Leaves a Lot of Questions... Posted on 4/29/2010; ISU student dies from what may be bacterial meningitis. ...
www.lombardilaw.com/.../teen-safety-how-much-alcohol-can-you-drink-before-killing-yourself.cfm - Cached
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