It’s no secret that many young people like to drink alcohol. Unfortunately, the consumption of alcohol—even when legal—can often lead to bad decision making, like getting behind the wheel of a car when you shouldn’t. Drunk driving can lead to a DUI conviction, which can result in significant legal and collateral consequences, including those that can affect your academic future. In fact, because of Maryland’s zero-tolerance law with respect to underage drinking and driving, even a few sips of alcohol could potentially derail your future educational plans—and therefore the rest of your life.
The Consequences of a DUI Can Extend Far Beyond Your Sentence
Many people are surprised to learn that there is fallout from a DUI that has nothing to do with the legal system. Importantly, these consequences can often last for much longer and actually impact your life much more than any sentence imposed by the judge. In the context of academics, many schools have codes of conduct that prohibit students from engaging in illegal conduct and can impose sanctions if a student is convicted of DUI. These sanctions can include the following:
- Loss of a scholarship or financial aid
- Mandatory counseling
Importantly, these kinds of sanctions can be extremely disruptive and affect your academic performance. In addition, any sanctions imposed will become part of your academic record that will be reviewed by any future institution to which you apply.
Many Schools Make a Background Check Part of the Application Process
Many schools, and particularly professional programs like law and medicine, review an applicant’s criminal history during the application process. A DUI conviction may affect your chances of obtaining a scholarship, make similarly qualified applicants more attractive than you, or even result in an outright denial of admission.
An Attorney Can Often Help Mitigate the Consequences of a DUI Arrest
By now, it should be clear how a DUI arrest has the potential to affect your academic options—and as a result, the rest of your life. Fortunately, there are often many ways that a lawyer can mitigate the long-term consequences of a DUI arrest. In fact, in some cases, an attorney may even be able to have the case dropped entirely. Some common DUI defenses include:
- Challenging the legality of the initial traffic stop
- Introducing evidence that indicates that the breathalyzer device used was improperly calibrated
- Arguing that the officer who performed sobriety testing lacked the requisite training to do so
- Presenting evidence that any observed signs of intoxication were actually the result of an unrelated medical condition
Even in cases where there are no defenses available, an attorney can often help convince the prosecutor to recommend that you enter a DUI diversion program, which, if you complete successfully, will result in the case against you being dropped. In other words, a diversion program can allow you to avoid a conviction and the potential consequences that come along with one.
Call Alpert Schreyer Today to Retain an Experienced Maryland DUI Defense Lawyer
A youthful mistake does not have to lead to a lifetime of regret. If you have been arrested for drunk driving, it is critical that you retain an experienced attorney as soon as possible, as the representation of a lawyer can have a significant impact on the outcome of your case. To schedule a free case evaluation with a DUI defense lawyer in Maryland, call our office today at (866) 444-6363 or contact us online.