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How a DUI affects college students

It’s Friday night and your college buddies suggest that you go out to the bar. You have plans the next morning, so you decide to drive so you can take off early. Instead, you end up having a few more drinks than you originally expected. Realizing that you’re out too late, you decide to quickly drive home and get some rest.

Unfortunately, you had one too many drinks and a police officer arrests you for a DUI on your way back to your apartment. The arrest alone is a scary situation, but you’re also worried about your future. How will your arrest affect your college status? Could your mistake get you expelled?

There are several ways a DUI could affect your status in college depending on your specific situation.

Expelled from school

Expulsion is the most severe consequence for a DUI charge. The short answer is that it is possible for your college to expel you, but it depends on several factors. Every university has a different code of conduct and some are stricter than others. Most schools will not expel students for their first DUI, but an underage arrest or severe case could result in a worst-case scenario.

Loss of scholarships

Losing your scholarship is certainly on the table following a DUI arrest. This is highly dependent on the specifics of your scholarship. Many prestigious scholarships include a clause that will invalidate your eligibility following a criminal conviction. You could also lose your scholarship because of university discipline for your arrest. All situations are different, but it is very likely you will lose your scholarship following a DUI.

Sports team dismissal

Your hard work to earn a spot on a college sports roster could go to waste if you receive a DUI. How your arrest affects your status on a team is dependent on both the specifics of your DUI as well as the program. Some schools are stricter than others as it pertains to who can play on their sports teams. If it is your first DUI you may only receive a suspension, but dismissal is still a possibility.

Change of career path

Depending on your goals, you may have to change your career path. If your dream was to work for the government, your arrest may make this extremely difficult. Similarly, if your plan was to attend medical school or law school, a DUI may severely hamper this dream. A criminal record will likely make it difficult to get into a competitive program. It may not be worth it to continue pursuing a degree in a field that your DUI will make it difficult to find a job in.

It’s obviously better to avoid drinking and driving altogether, but if it is already too late, you may want to contact an experienced attorney to evaluate your situation.

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