Flint college students attending University of Michigan- Flint, Mott Community College, Kettering University, and other local institutions are likely participating in the age-old past time of imbibing in alcoholic beverages. Although most college students do not turn 21 until their junior or senior years, in college, Villanova reports that around 80 percent of college students drink.
While drinking may be an accepted part of college life, this does not mean that law enforcement will turn a blind eye when people under the age of 21 decide to drink alcohol. Even juniors and seniors who are 21 and over could find themselves facing legal trouble if they do not drink responsibly.
Both underaged college students and those over the age of 21 could become involved in the criminal justice system if they drink alcohol. For those over 21, a DUI can result with a blood alcohol concentration above the legal limit of .08. For college students under 21, even a single drink could result in accusations of impaired driving under zero tolerance rules.
How to Avoid a First OWI Charge as a College Student
A First DUI as a college student could be a big problem for you. You could be forced to spend lots of money you don't have on a legal defense, on court costs, and on fines. You could be forced to spend lots of time you don't have doing community service or could even miss class because you are incarcerated. The loss of your license could mean you can't get to school or work any more. Restrictions imposed as part of your DUI penalty could mean you can't even enjoy a single drink with friends without risking violation of probation.
You want to avoid these consequences whenever possible, as well as more serious potential ramifications of an DUI conviction such as restrictions your future career options or difficulty getting into a graduate school. You can try to avoid an DUI charge by:
- Having a designated driver. If you are going to be drinking at all, even a single drink when you are under 21, you need to have a designated driver. Arrange for a DD before anyone starts drinking and have a backup plan in case your designated driver bails on you or ends up consuming alcohol.
- Knowing the law. Many people under 21 are surprised to find out they can be charged under zero tolerance laws for hardly having anything to drink at all. Don't take a chance and even have a single drink before getting behind the wheel.
- Fighting charges. If you are arrested, don't assume the problem will just go away or the DUI is only a minor issue. Your penalties could be very serious so you need to get the right legal help to vigorously defend yourself.
College students don't deserve to have their semester or their future education derailed because of an impaired driving charge. If you are accused of OWI, you should take action right away to fight conviction.