When you’re away from your family at college, you may understandably experience moments of loneliness or even sadness when missing familiar sights and sounds of home. Most colleges in Minnesota and elsewhere offer plenty of sports, extracurricular activities and social events to provide joyful distractions and promote active lifestyles on campus.
Some activities, however, may be prone toward problems that most students want to avoid. For instance, while it’s usually fun to go out to eat or party with friends, being arrested for DUI is an entirely other matter. Charges for intoxicated driving can have immediate and long-lasting effects on your college career.
Beware these potential unforeseen consequences of DUI in college
Calling home to tell your parents you’ve been arrested would obviously not be among your favorite college memories. You might also cringe at the thought of trying to avoid conviction to keep from going to jail. The following are other negative consequences that might not be so immediately apparent:
- Financial debt: You may have difficulty keeping up with tuition and other school expenses due to the high costs of fines and fees related to your DUI incident.
- Emotional trauma: Facing a criminal offense charge may hit you harder than you’d think. Many students become depressed or suffer anxiety when recalling details regarding an arrest or worrying about the stigma of having a criminal record.
- Grades may suffer: If a significant portion of your schedule consists of court appointments and other meetings connected to your arrest, you probably won’t have much time to focus on your studies.
- Suspension/Expulsion: Depending on the circumstances of your particular situation, you could be suspended or expelled from school. (Authorities typically inform administrators of a student’s DUI arrest.)
One of the easiest ways to avoid such problems is to think ahead and plan for transportation that doesn’t involve drinking alcohol and driving.
How not to let DUI ruin your college life
By making informed decisions and responsible choices, there’s every reason to believe you can succeed both academically and socially in college. Just because you’ve had a drink or two doesn’t necessarily mean you have broken the law if you get behind the wheel of a car and drive.
You can take several steps to avoid conviction and minimize the potential negative impact of a DUI arrest, such as:
- Be mindful that anything you say to a police officer during a traffic stop may later be used to incriminate you if charges are filed.
- Request assistance from a defense attorney before answering questions.
- Pay careful attention to everything officers say and do during preliminary investigations, as they are obligated to follow strict protocol so as not to violate your personal rights.
- If you believe you have been wrongfully charged, you can fight against any and all charges in court.
While it’s impossible to presume a particular outcome if you have been arrested and charged with DUI, you may have confidence that your chances for obtaining the best possible results may be increased by allowing an experienced criminal lawyer to speak and act on your behalf.
Knowing how to avoid a DUI arrest in the first place, as well as how to talk about and where to turn for help if problems arise, are key factors toward making the most of your college experience.