Huguely Trial Highlights Alcohol Abuse At Colleges, Universities

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

There's little question that George Huguely V, the former University of Virginia student on trial for murder, had a problem with alcohol.

He had been arrested twice for drinking-related infractions, one of them violent, in his early 20s. And he admits to consuming at least 15 drinks — and likely had more, witnesses said — the day he confronted Yeardley Love at her off-campus apartment in 2010, assaulting her so severely she later died, according to prosecutors.

But trial testimony over the past two weeks from witnesses, most of them former U.Va. students, has repeatedly shown that Huguely, now 24, was part of a college culture where some young people drink before working on papers, "pregame" before going to bars and drink to get drunk almost every time.

"It's just an epidemic" nationwide, said Mike Gimbel, who runs a substance abuse education program, based at St. Joseph Medical Center in Towson, for athletes and Maryland students. He gave a presentation at Love's alma mater, the Notre Dame Preparatory School, after her death.

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