If you expected your college years would bring you a host of new experiences, likely you have not felt disappointed so far. You have probably met people from different cultures, studied ideas you hadn’t considered and discovered things you never knew about yourself. You may also have felt the thrill of living outside the boundaries of your parents and the freedom of being in control of your own destiny.
However, if your new experiences include an arrest for drunk driving on or around your South Dakota college campus, you may be wondering what this could mean for your future. Unfortunately, you have every reason to be concerned about what will happen if a court convicts you. The ramifications of a drunk driving conviction have the potential to follow you for years to come.
Your friends may tell you that getting pulled over for DUI is a rite of passage. This could not be further from the truth. Even a first-offense drunk driving charge can result in hundreds in fines, additional fees, possible jail time, probation and license suspension. These are only the immediate consequences. Some of the long-term ramifications may include the following:
- The stress of having no license, which may mean imposing on your friends for rides or spending even more money for ridesharing or public transportation
- A criminal conviction on your record, which, even as a misdemeanor, may complicate your career path, especially if your chosen career requires background checks or professional certification
- A significant increase in your car insurance rates, sometimes as much as three times what you paid before your conviction
- Damage to your reputation among your peers, advisors and teachers
- Loss of certain scholarships or eligibility for other academic opportunities
Depending on the college you attend, the code of conduct policies may place you at risk of suspension or expulsion. If not, you may find your academics on the line when you account for the time you may be spending in court, performing community service or in jail instead of studying or attending classes.
As you can see, a conviction for a DUI can disrupt your path to success and derail you from reaching your goals. This is why it is wise to seek reliable legal representation as early as possible after your arrest to ensure you have every possible advantage for achieving a positive outcome.