Leaving home to attend college is a deeply ingrained tradition. It’s a time for young adults to prepare for a career, learn to live independently, meet new people and grow as a person. It’s also a time when new students gain easy access to alcohol and engage in binge drinking. This can be part of fraternities and sororities, off-campus events, sporting events, and major social gatherings. If they are interested, college students engage in this behavior whether they are 21 or not.
Charges come with penalties
Young drinkers may feel that they have it all figured out, but those highs come crashing down once you get pulled over by law enforcement. Then come charges like driving under the influence (DUI), driving under the influence of drugs (DUID), or driving while ability impaired (DWAI), which is a lesser version DUI with fewer points taken off your license. There are also separate charges for under-21 drinking or drug use. Penalties for these charges will depend upon the circumstances and even the location, but include:
- License suspension
- Hundreds or thousands of dollars in fines and penalties
- Community service hours
- Five days to one year in jail
- Court costs
Repeat offenders will face increasingly steep penalties.
There are other consequences
These charges can impact students’ lives in other ways as well. Those charged could violate their student code of conduct and other school policies. Colorado schools are typically not as strict as some, but standard policies include:
- Disciplinary action for violating school policy
- Academic probation or expulsion from school
- Suspension or removal from sports teams or clubs
- Loss of scholarships or student aid
It’s best to fight these charges
Evidence of driving under the influence charges has become much more scientific in recent years, with blood tests in the field and breathalyzers. Nevertheless, students and their families can still fight these charges. You do this by ensuring that law enforcement did not violate the student’s rights, that the penalties fit the infraction, and that lasting penalties don’t leave a lingering impact on the student’s future.