Getting pulled over for driving under the influence (DUI) can be one of the most stressful situations to find yourself in, especially for a first-year college student. Now you’re sitting in your car, drenched in sweat and teen angst, fretting about what’s going to happen next.
Nobody teaches you what happens when a college student gets a DUI charge. Here’s what you’ll need to know:
Penalties for a DUI are severe
Virginia is a “zero tolerance” state, which means any teens under the age of 21 caught drunk driving will face hefty penalties. You can see a $500 minimum fine and include additional charges if the alcohol was purchased with a fake ID or endangered other minors.
This is just standard for any DUI conviction for an underage driver. However, college students can also look to receive penalties detrimental to their education. Some of these penalties may include:
- Loss of loans and grants, particularly those through certain school programs
- The loss of student housing, if your school has rules about people with criminal records living on campus
- Suspension of certain college privileges, like holding student office or playing college sports
Some college boards are understanding that a majority of their students are young, inexperienced and away from home for the first time. Which means less harsh policies and softer penalties. Other colleges may enforce a “morality clause” that serves as a strict policy to uphold a level of maturity that reflects the identity of the school.
If you’re facing DUI charges, you need to take immediate steps to protect your future. A conviction could be disastrous to your education and haunt you well into adult life.