There are several consequences of a drunk or drugged driving charge that reach far beyond a night of embarrassment.
In fact, if you are looking forward to finishing your college degree without interruption or have strict career goals for yourself, then a criminal charge may put a wrench in your plans. There’s a chance you could be ineligible for financial aid or be unqualifiable for a professional license.
DUI and financial aid
Your first DUI offense probably won’t place you behind bars for an extended period. But, if you are a repeat DUI offender or a police officer discovers illegal drugs during a traffic stop, then it’s possible that you won’t be able to receive some federal student aid. When you are in jail, you won’t qualify for the federal Pell Grant or federal student loans. And if you are facing a drug possession charge on top of a DUI, you must disclose this on your federal aid application form and risk suspension of federal aid.
Completing your jail sentence or a drug rehab program may restore your eligibility. However, not having money to pay for school on top having to pay the fines and fees related to a DUI charge can have a lasting impact. You might need to put a pause on college. Or, you might have to apply for a loan that will lead you to paying more on a college than the original cost of tuition due to interest.
DUI and career
You might also have to change the course of your studies if you were hoping to attain a professional license, for careers like nursing or teaching, after you complete your college program. It probably won’t be easy for you to run for a public office or seek commercial driver’s license either when a DUI appears on you background check.
Since the ramifications of one night of partying can follow you for many years, it’s important to think of your transportation to and from the party ahead of time.