Over summer, thousands of college students return home after another university year ends. Whether they are returning from their freshman, sophomore, or junior year, they have learned a lot over the past year and had some new experiences as they grow into adults. For many students, college marks the first time they have experimented with alcohol. Unfortunately, a return home during the summer may result in drinking with friends that ends in a drunk driving arrest.
One of the reasons students may be more likely to get a DUI while home for the summer is that they may have to travel further to party with friends. While at college, parties often take place at friends' apartments, fraternity parties, or bars within walking distance to campus. However, after they return home, especially in a suburban environment, they may have to borrow the family car to go meet up with friends. If they do not plan ahead on how to get home, they may end up getting behind the wheel after having too much to drink.
Another factor that may result in a DUI for young college students is that they may be experimenting with drugs and alcohol. They may be unaware that a couple of strong beers can put them over the legal limit. If they are under the age of 21, any amount of alcohol in the bloodstream can lead to a DUI. Inexperience with marijuana or other drugs may also leave them impaired when they get behind the wheel, leading to a drugged driving arrest.
A DUI arrest is often the first time a college student ever faces a criminal conviction. They may be unaware of the consequences of pleading guilty to a DUI for their education and their future. Some colleges and universities require a student to notify them of a DUI arrest or conviction. It can also lead to disciplinary action apart from the criminal and civil penalties.
Some students may lose scholarship or financial aid eligibility after a drunk driving conviction.This could greatly increase the financial costs of a DUI, which can already cost thousands of dollars in fines, fees, and higher insurance rates. College athletes who are convicted of a DUI can face additional disciplinary action, including suspension, and losing their athletic scholarships.
Don't let a DUI ruin your summer and affect your future educational opportunities. If you or your college-aged child is arrested for a DUI over the summer break, call an experienced DUI attorney. At the Gorelick Law Offices, attorney Lynn Gorelick has dedicated her legal career to defending people in the East Bay charged with driving under the influence. For over 30 years, she has personally handled hundreds of cases involving people arrested for DUIs. If you have been arrested for a DUI here in the East Bay, there is still time to keep a conviction off your record, and keep your license. Contact a local East Bay DUI defense attorney who understands that you don't have to plead guilty just because you were arrested.