According to the Chicago Tribune, a Northern Illinois University freshman student from Palatine, Illinois, was discovered dead at his Pi Kappa Alpha house on Friday, November 2, 2012. While an official cause of death has not been determined, local authorities believe that alcohol may have been a contributing factor, and no foul play is suspected.
The 19 year old was attending a fraternity party earlier that evening where alcohol was served. There is evidence that the young student was drinking that evening and the police will be interviewing several other attendees of the fraternity party to help determine the cause of death.
Binge drinking on college campuses has become something of an epidemic across the country with the Center for Science in the Public Interest reporting that 44% of students attending 4-year colleges drink alcohol at binge levels or greater. Binge drinking is defined as blood alcohol levels of .08 or above; which correlates to consuming five or more drinks for a male or four or more drinks for a woman over the course of two hours. Additionally, the Century Council reports that 81% of college students have tried alcohol at least once and 68% report having been drunk.
Binge drinking negatively impacts the lives of college students and their families, especially when it ends in tragedy, as it did here. Students and parents alike must be aware of the perils of binge drinking. Fraternity house culture must change; binge drinking should not be viewed as popular or “cool” in the eyes of these young adults. If only this young student and his fraternity brothers understood that binge drinking is dangerous, perhaps a life could be saved.
The wrongful death attorneys at Levin & Perconti understand that when senseless deaths happen, families need help and support during those troubling times. In situations like the one above, attorneys can help determine the family’s rights and help make them whole again.