How a DUI Can Affect Your College Career

How a DUI Can Affect Your College Career


  • 39% of traffic deaths in Pennsylvania involve at least one impaired driver.
  • 1,825 college students die each year as a result of drinking and driving.
  • More than 3 million college students report having driven under the influence of alcohol.

When you go to college, you’re going to spend your days attending classes and hitting the books. You may even work part- or full-time while you attend school. College can be a stressful time, and you’re sure to be under pressure.

One way you may choose to relieve your stress is to hit the town or go to a party with friends. Unfortunately, many young adults make poor choices when it comes to drinking and driving. If you’re someone who enjoys a drink, be careful — here’s how a DUI in Pennsylvania can ruin your college career.

The Immediate Consequences of a DUI

Being arrested and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol has immediate consequences. We see these effects in the clients we represent as a Pennsylvania DUI lawyer. Not only will you be arrested and have to spend money to be released from custody, but you will have to take time off work to appear in court.

Once your hearings and possible trial get underway, you may be fortunate enough to be found not guilty of your charges, but what if you’re not? If you are convicted of a DUI charge in Pennsylvania, you will be hit with fines and court fees, face a driver’s license suspension and, potentially, will be looking at jail time.

A DUI conviction, for many people, also has an embarrassment factor. You feel as though your friends and family are looking at you in a different light. You may find that the reputation you worked so hard to build is ruined, at least temporarily.

All of these things set aside, there are ways that a DUI conviction may affect your college career. You need to strongly consider this before you choose to go out for a night of partying and then get behind the wheel.

DUIs and College

You worked hard to get into college. Maybe you played sports and secured a scholarship. Maybe you focused on academics to secure a free ride to the college of your choice. If you’re on scholarship, you better look at the terms of your free money.

In many cases, being arrested and convicted of any crime, including DUI, will cause you to lose your scholarship funding. If this happens to you, can you afford school on your own?

Take a look at your college’s rules and regulations regarding student expectations for behavior. If you live on campus or in campus-sponsored housing, you may find that a DUI conviction terminates your housing contract.

If you aren’t permitted to live on campus, where will you reside? If you don’t live close enough to school to commute, this could effectively end your college career. Moreover, having a DUI on your record could make it all but impossible to find new housing.

Depending on the code of student conduct at your college, you may not have to worry that getting kicked out of housing ends your educational career. You may be expelled from the school simply for being convicted of a DUI.

If you choose to apply to a different school to finish your education, you may discover that you have a very difficult time getting accepted due to your conviction.

How a DUI in Pennsylvania May Follow You After College

The effects of a DUI while you are in college don’t necessarily end when you walk off campus and move on with your life. A DUI conviction may also make it difficult to obtain employment, depending on your course of study or goals in life.

Many professions require that those in their employ hold a license. Part of licensing is a background check. For example, if you are going to school to be a teacher and are convicted of driving under the influence, nothing may happen to you in terms of your education.

You could very well continue on through your senior year, graduate, take your exams and then apply for your license. It may only be then that you find out you won’t be granted a license because of your conviction.

It’s unrealistic to tell college students to never consume alcohol unless it’s a personal choice. What may make more sense is to tell you to stay out of the driver’s seat if you’ve had anything to drink.

Getting Home After a Night Out

Three Safe Ways to Get Home After a Night of Drinking infographic

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If you do go out drinking, finding an alternate way home can save you from a DUI. You have several options for getting home safely after a party or night at the club.

1. Uber or Lyft

A ride sharing service is an excellent option for getting home. A sober ride is just a tap away. Be prepared to figure out how to go pick up your car the next morning.

2. Hail a Cab

A cab may be more expensive than you’d like, but it’s a good choice. You can call a cab company to find out how much your trip will cost and tuck that much money in your back pocket.

3. Public Transportation

A bus or trolley is an easy way to get home safely. Be aware, however, it is up to the driver’s discretion when it comes to allowing you to ride. If you are so intoxicated that you cannot control yourself, you may very well be asked to exit the bus.

A Pennsylvania DUI Attorney at the Law Offices of Steven E. Kellis Is Here for You

If you are arrested for driving under the influence while in college, you need a Pennsylvania DUI attorney immediately. Reach out to Steven E. Kellis today and schedule your free consultation. We can help you at this stressful time in your life.