'Busted' to help students know the cost of illicit behavior

2/2/2007 8:00:00 AM

Garry E. Rubinstein, coordinator of substance abuse treatment programs, is encouraging students to ask what would happen if they were to get caught drinking underage, driving under the influence or possessing controlled substances. Such knowledge, he hopes, will deter more students from illicit activities.

To foster that open discussion, Rubinstein organized "Busted-Part II," an open forum to be held noon, Feb. 5, in the Jot Travis Student Union Pine Lounge.  

The presentation will include open conversation between students and Reno Justice Court Judge Harold G. Albright, Carl Hinxman, director of Washoe County pretrial services, and Joseph Ingraham, chief of Washoe County post-trial supervision.

Rubinstein said he finds it necessary for successful students to not only understand the health consequences of drugging and irresponsible drinking, but also the legal consequences of it.

"Many students I talk to are unaware of the seriousness of getting in trouble," he said. Consequences of underage drinking, substance abuse and driving under the influence can weigh heavily on a student's future, according to Rubinstein.

By bringing high-level court officials to the University, he said he hopes to inform students of the legal repercussions of getting caught.

"Legally speaking, students sometimes ask questions I can't answer," he said. "That's why I've organized this."

Albright, who graduated from the university in 1968, is optimistic about the panel discussion.

"Many students aren't aware of the legal consequences of drinking until they're standing in front of me in court," he said. "There's a misconception that college students are exempt from drinking laws. On the contrary, [law] enforcement on drinking is becoming more and more vigorous."

Busted-Part II is intended to let students know what they're getting into if caught abusing illegal drugs, drinking underage or driving while under the influence. It will also give them a chance to speak with Reno court officials in a personal, open discussion. As Rubenstein points out, the presentation is not intended as a scare tactic, but rather an opportunity for students to educate themselves on issues which are too often ignored.


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