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A DUI conviction may ruin your college plans

In Virginia, DUI penalties increase depending on your blood alcohol content when officers stop your vehicle. For drivers under 21, though, the Old Dominion has a zero-tolerance policy. That is, if you are a minor and have a BAC above 0.02%, you are likely to face severe penalties for drinking and driving. 

If you are a young adult, you may look forward to leaving home and attending a college or university. Doing so is an effective way to land your dream job. Even better, college can be a tremendous amount of fun. While there is nothing wrong with letting loose, you should know how a DUI conviction may interfere with your college plans. 

Potential loss of financial aid 

Many students need federal financial aid to attend George Mason University and other post-secondary institutions. While a DUI conviction by itself does not affect eligibility for federally backed financial aid, a drug conviction does. As such, if you have an illegal substance in your vehicle during your DUI stop, you may have trouble affording tuition. 

Additionally, some colleges take a tough approach to drunk driving convictions. If you have a school scholarship, you may become ineligible for funds. Likewise, a DUI may get you kicked off your collegiate sports team or out of your dorm room. 

Difficulty pursuing certain careers 

Part of the rationale for pursuing an education is finding gainful employment after graduation. If you want to become a doctor, lawyer, accountant or member of another profession, you likely must go through an extensive background check before receiving your license. A DUI conviction may make passing the background screen virtually impossible. Also, if you need a security clearance to work in your chosen field, obtaining one with a DUI on your record may be difficult. 

As you can see, drunk driving is often a successful way to derail your educational plans and professional goals. As such, if you ever face DUI charges, you likely must act diligently to protect your future.

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Ronald E. Smith, P.C.

criminal defense & Social security disability law

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