When you send your children off to college, you can only hope you have prepared them well for what lies ahead. This means providing them with the tools they need to make wise choices and to know when they are in risky situations. However, when a child is suddenly independent, your words of warning may quickly fade from his or her head.
This may be especially true when it comes to consuming alcohol. You may expect your child to party with friends from time to time, but it is difficult to avoid the frightening statistics that place drunk driving as the number one cause of death among college students. For this reason, college towns and campus administrators take it seriously when a student is arrested for DWI.
If you suspect your child will drink with friends in college, you may suggest they choose a designated driver. Unfortunately, one survey showed that 12% of designated drivers continued to drink, having five or more beers. A student who has not planned for the possibility that he or she may drink too much may try to drive home. The consequences for a drunk driving conviction can be severe, including:
- Other fees and costs that can reach thousands of dollars
- Potential jail time
- Suspension of driving privileges
In addition to the criminal and administrative penalties for a DWI conviction, particularly if your child is under 21 at the time of the arrest, most colleges and universities in Louisiana and elsewhere have their own consequences for student DWI.
In fact, in many regions, local police forces work closely with campus administration, and it is possible that the agency that arrests your child will notify the college your child attends. This may result in additional penalties, such as probation, mandatory counseling, loss of financial aid or even suspension from school.
Long-term DWI consequences
A DWI conviction does not go away. Your child may find that many doors close with a DWI on record. This could mean your child is no longer eligible for certain programs of study or able to obtain certain professional licenses. One mistake may result in a lifetime of challenges.
If your child is facing DWI charges or charges related to underage drinking, it is important that he or she have a strong defense strategy. To protect your child's future, you will not want to leave this defense to chance. Having a skilled attorney advocate for your child may allow him or her to stay on track for success.