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Jan 22, 2020 08:15 PM EST

DUI Convictions: How They Can Affect Your College Life

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DUI Convictions: How They Can Affect Your College Life

(Photo : Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash)

A conviction for driving under the influence has serious consequences at any time. That includes while you're attending a college or university. There's a lot of information about how a DUI impacts those who are already in the workforce, but less attention is paid to what this type of conviction can do do a college student. Along with knowing where to find professional legal experts who can defend you in court, it also pays to understand how the outcome of the event could affect you in the here and now. Here are four examples to ponder.

Cutting into Your Financial Resources

One of the first things to learn about convictions is that there will be penalties to pay. One of those penalties is some sort of fine. While the court may have some leeway when it comes to serving time or community service, you can rest assured that minimum sentences for a first offence is a $1000 fine.

For the average college student, that's a significant sum of money. A student who is already living on a tight budget will have trouble coming up with the funds. That's especially true if family members don't have the means to help cover the fine.

Placing Your Scholarship in Danger

A conviction will be reported to the educational institution. If you're currently covering all or most of the cost of tuition and related expenses with a scholarship, that DUI conviction could bring that to a screeching halt. Within the terms and conditions that relate to the scholarship, there's likely a clause that has to do with maintaining a certain standard of conduct. If those administering the scholarship determine that you've failed to honour that clause, you may have to find some other means of paying for your education moving forward.

You Could Face Expulsion

Even if you don't have a scholarship, don't think there will be no repercussions. There's also the school's code of conduct to consider. Abiding by that code may be necessary to remain enrolled. If the DUI conviction confirms that you are not in compliance with the code, that could be grounds for expulsion. After being expelled you may find it difficult to enroll in another college or university.

Keep in mind that you may escape expulsion, but there's still the potential of being placed on probation. If there's another offense before the probationary period expires, expulsion is likely to follow. Don't depend on a second chance after that. Few schools will consider a fresh application from an expelled student. 

Making It Hard to Get Around Town

You will likely be a pedestrian for some time after your DUI conviction. How will that affect your ability to manage as a student? Even if you live on campus, there are times when you need to run errands, get to a part time job, or would like to go out with friends or on a date. Not being able to drive will seriously hamper all of those activities.

The bottom line is that a DUI conviction is nothing to take lightly, even if you're still in school. Make it your business to stay out of a vehicle if you've had a little too much to drink. Call a friend, a cab, or take public transport. You can always pick up the car tomorrow when you're completely sober again.

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