College students in the midst of newly found adulthood may not be fully aware of the consequences of drinking and driving. While many know that there is a chance of facing jail time, revoked or suspended licenses, or fines, they may not know about how a DWI can actively affect their lives in college or university. A DWI charge can drastically affect the course of a college education or even a future career. Additionally, North Carolina has a zero-tolerance law for those under 21, meaning that even having alcohol in the vehicle while driving can result in a DWI charge.
Consequences during college
In many instances, when a person gets charged with a DWI, this is reported to the college. This can result in the loss of any scholarships that the student had, making it difficult to afford to take classes. It could, in some cases, result in a suspension, meaning that any further incidences, whether with state law or the school itself, will result in a complete expulsion. Campbell University, for example, considers itself a drug- and alcohol-free campus, so getting caught with alcohol in a second incident could result in expulsion.
Students who reside on campus may also lose out on their housing and may be forced to move off-campus. Combined with a mandatory suspended license, this can make it significantly harder to attend classes, though you may still be able to drive in a limited capacity to and from lectures.
Future career hindrances
Being expelled from college or university can make it impossible to pursue a dream career. Additionally, some careers require certain licenses, and a DWI can endanger your chance of attaining those licenses. This may be the case for those pursuing careers in law, medicine or teaching.
Overall, a DWI charge can significantly delay or completely halt progress toward a meaningful career. A college student who is facing DWI may need the help of a criminal defense lawyer to avoid facing harsh consequences. A lawyer may be able to help form a strong defense to prevent a life-altering conviction.