Young adults, including those enrolled in college, often don’t think very carefully about the potential future consequences of their actions. To some degree, a failure to consider future consequences is a byproduct of a young adult’s neurology. The part of the brain responsible for contemplating future consequences and overall risk is not fully finished developing until an individual’s mid-20s.
However, there are also cultural factors that play a role in college-age students making questionable personal choices. College is considered a time of personal growth and development, often through making mistakes. Young adults tend to assume that they won’t incur major penalties if they get arrested while enrolled at college as long as no one else gets hurt. However, the truth is that college students often face more penalties and consequences than others do as a result of the same kinds of conduct because of their enrollment in school.
Sadly, drunk driving is very common during the college years. A survey of college students in 2021 found that 13.1% of students who reported owning a car and using alcohol while enrolled admitted to driving after drinking within the last 30 days, and those student gambled with more than their immediate safety when they did. The following are three concerning secondary consequences that a college driving under the influence (DUI) charge might result in when the offender is a young adult who is attending college – or who aspires to attend college in the future – in Georgia.
Many prestigious and competitive colleges or universities have very strict student codes of conduct. Even trade schools that offer special certifications rather than degrees may have rules about criminal convictions during enrollment. Students pursuing their education might find themselves cast out of class and unable to continue pursuing their degree if they plead guilty while enrolled.
The loss of financial aid
There are rules that can make someone ineligible for financial aid directly before and after a conviction. Although minor criminal offenses won’t permanently alter someone’s eligibility for federal financial aid, having a criminal record can make it an uphill battle for someone to pursue private financial aid, like scholarships, as background checks have become common practice.
Future employment challenges
The whole purpose of getting a college degree is typically to pursue a highly-compensated career. Employers will usually perform background checks when hiring someone, even if that individual was previously an intern during their college enrollment. A conviction doesn’t necessarily prevent someone from getting any job, but it can reduce their prospects and slow their career development substantially.
Although college students might expect a slap on the wrist for a DUI offense, they may find themselves facing consequences that change the course of their lives. As a result, fighting DUI charges could potentially help a young adult move on from a simple mistake that could undermine their education or career ambitions.