Let’s face it. It is nearly impossible to walk around a college campus without hearing students talk about the next big party. Whether it is a fraternity, sorority, or club party, you can bet that students are drinking near any college campus on any given weekend. In many cases, students who are not of age still participate in these activities. However, even more concerning is when students decide to drink and drive.
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism states that about 1,825 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die due to alcohol-related car accidents. An additional 599,000 students are injured due to drinking and driving. As a result, both on-campus and off-campus law enforcement agencies are cracking down on drunk driving.
Although initial DUI convictions are considered misdemeanors, the consequences are extremely harsh. A person’s first DUI conviction in Georgia can result in the following penalties:
- $1,000 in fines
- Up to 12 months of imprisonment
- 55 hours of community service
- Completion of a Risk Reduction Program
- Mandatory drug / alcohol treatment
- 12 months of probation
- Driver's license suspension
Additionally, a DUI conviction can leave a student disqualified from financial aid, scholarships, grants, and more. Students who participate in athletic teams may also be suspended for the duration of the season.
How to Avoid a DUI Charge While in College
Because DUI convictions can leave a person with serious expenses and harsh consequences, it is important to consider the following tips to avoid a DUI arrest. You can still enjoy yourself with friends, but make sure you do not get behind the wheel!
1. Call a taxi.
- In most college towns, taxis and cabs are available at any given time throughout the night, especially in downtown areas. If you and your friends have been drinking, take a taxi and pick up your vehicles the next day when all of you are sober and in the proper condition to drive.
2. Call an Uber.
- If you are in an area where cabs and taxis are not readily available, contact an Uber driver to deliver you and your friends home safely. Remember, an Uber ride will be less expensive than a DUI conviction and much safer, too.
3. Call a friend/family member.
- If you have not prepared driving arrangements after a night of drinking, call a friend or family member who lives in the area. Your friend/family member may be much happier that you decided to ask for a ride instead of endangering yourself by driving while impaired.
4. Choose a designated driver.
- If you plan to attend a party or go downtown with a group of friends, select a person who will abstain from drinking for the night. Make sure this person is the only one with the keys to the vehicle to avoid any drunken mistakes.
5. Make prior arrangements.
- If you are going to attend a function at a friend’s house, plan to have a sleepover that night to avoid driving home after a day/night of drinking.
If You Are Arrested for DUI
Our Atlanta DUI defense lawyers at The Law Offices of Howard J. Weintraub, P.C. understand the various complexities of DUI cases. Whether you have been arrested for driving under the influence or were caught drinking while under the age of 21, our Atlanta DUI defense attorneys can help. Our team can work hard to explore your case and fight to have your penalties and charges dismissed.
Protect your rights! Get in touch with The Law Offices of Howard J. Weintraub, P.C. today.