Study finds most students are not getting drunk

KENT, Ohio (AP) - A Kent State University researcher says college students generally don't drink as much as people think and the term "binge drinker" shouldn't be applied to most of them.

Researcher Dennis Thombs studied Breathalyzer readings of Kent State dorm residents.

So far, his findings -- based on the 2002 research -- goes against conventional wisdom that drunkenness is a fairly regular state of being for many college students.

Breath tests were given to students over 15 weeks. Students had an average blood-alcohol level in the moderate range -- from 0.04 to 0.05. To be considered legally drunk in Ohio, the blood alcohol level must be 0.08 or above.

Yet under the definitions used in other studies, Thombs says many of these students would be classified as "binge drinkers."

He says that's unfortunate because it reinforces the perception that students are drinking more than they actually are.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)