If you attend one of the many colleges or universities in New York, you’re likely no stranger to stress. It can be quite challenging to keep up with the rigors of academics. If you also happen to be an athlete, you have training and competition to worry about as well. Pulling all-nighters to study for finals is a typical component of life on a college campus — so is drinking.
You might be among many college students who enjoy having a few drinks with friends in your free time. If you’re age 21 or older and you don’t live on a dry campus, there isn’t necessarily a problem with that. It’s a fact, however, than many students have ruined their college careers because of alcohol-related issues, such as facing DUI charges while they’re in school.
Police will likely inform school administrators
You might initially think that getting into legal trouble regarding suspected drunk driving is a separate issue from school studies. However, if police pull you over then make an arrest and you wind up facing DUI charges, authorities will most likely inform school officials about the incident.
If you signed an honors statement upon enrollment to your school, the charges against you might impede your ability to remain enrolled. In fact, you might incur suspension or expulsion, depending on the terms of your agreement.
Scholarships and more at risk
Many college students in New York and elsewhere have learned the hard way that it’s best to abstain from alcohol while driving or, at least, call for a ride as needed. While it’s true that you aren’t automatically breaking the law if you drive after consuming alcohol, a charge for DUI can jeopardize your scholarship, and you may incur penalties on a sport team. You may also feel embarrassed to have to call home and tell your family that you were arrested.
Are you pursuing a licensed career?
If you plan to become a doctor, nurse, psychologist or other professional that requires licensing, a DUI charge can greatly harm your ability to pursue your chosen career. If the court convicts of you of drunk driving, your chances of becoming a teacher or obtaining a government job may be little to none.
Job license isn’t the only license at risk
Facing DUI charges in college can definitely impede your ability to finish your degree and get a job in your chosen field. What’s more, the charges can negatively affect your immediate future as well because the state can suspend or revoke your driver’s license, and you might have to pay substantial fines or spend time in jail under conviction.
If a problem arises
Although facing arrest on suspicion of DUI in New York can have adverse effects on your college career, it doesn’t necessarily mean you will face conviction. Numerous issues may turn the scales of justice in your favor. For instance, police can make mistakes, and you might wind up taking a Breathalyzer test and passing it.
If a police officer pulls you over, it’s best to try to remain calm and to cooperate with the officer as much as possible. It’s also a good idea to know you rights ahead of time and to know where to seek support to help protect them.