At this point in your college career, you have likely learned many things, and some of those lessons did not occur in the lecture hall or lab. Perhaps the most surprising thing college has taught you is that it is important to set priorities to meet your goals. Whatever your course of study, the more credits you have under your belt, the more excited you may be feeling about your future.

However, all work and no play is a recipe for burnout. This is another lesson you learned pretty quickly. It may be part of your routine to spend time with friends on the weekend, seek out off-campus parties and let off some steam. However, one lesson you may not be ready to learn is how a DWI can affect the rest of your life.

Legal trouble

College is stressful enough without the added worry of a drunk driving conviction and the consequences you will have to deal with for years to come. Even if you think you are okay and can make it back to campus safely, your .08 blood alcohol concentration may prove otherwise. If you are under 21, even one beer may be enough to put your BAC at Louisiana’s legal limit for underage drivers.

You may face legal and administrative consequences that include the loss of your driver’s license, community service and maybe even jail time. You will probably have a fine to pay, but that may be only the beginning of the expenses. When you tally the cost of bail, vehicle impoundment, court costs and the hike in your car insurance, you may end up spending thousands of dollars.

Long-term challenges

What you may not realize is that a DWI conviction may affect you in other ways, too, including these possibilities:

  • Loss of campus housing
  • Revocation of certain scholarships
  • Suspension or expulsion from college
  • Ineligibility to proceed in certain academic programs
  • Disqualification from acquiring some occupational certifications, such as teaching, nursing or government jobs

A DWI conviction remains on your record indefinitely, and it will be a mark you may be explaining to potential employers for the rest of your life. You may also find that you will have to reconsider your goals if the conviction means you may not continue in your chosen field of study.

While the safest way to avoid these consequences is never to get behind the wheel after drinking, you may already be facing charges of DWI. If this is your situation, you would be wise to seek legal representation as early as possible to protect your future.