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Pulled over for a DUI after a long week of studying? Now what?

You had a long week of classes. Besides lectures and labs, you had a test and a paper due. You were on time for everything and turned in some quality work. After all of that, you just wanted to relax. Going out with friends was exactly what you needed to let loose. You started with dinner and then decided to get some drinks.

You planned to have fun. All you wanted was to have a stress-free evening where you could let your mind wander. Things were going great until it was time for you to go home. After those drinks you felt a little tipsy, but not too bad. You had your car with you and decided to get in and go home.

But now you’ve been pulled over and charged with a DUI.

What is at risk?

You may be thinking about just accepting the charge, paying your fines and moving on in hopes that it will go away. Unfortunately, there are several other items you must consider. As a college student, a drunk driving charge can impact several important aspects of your life if not addressed and dealt with correctly. Are you on scholarship? Do you live in campus housing? It’s possible that the charge will be reported to your school and these are now at risk. Expulsion, driving privileges, your future career and the ability to obtain professional licenses can all be affected.

What should you do now?

First and foremost, be respectable to law enforcement. Don’t admit any wrong doing on the scene, and consider the pros and cons of subjecting to a breathalyzer test. Stay silent and ask for representation. Try your best to remember specific details about the stop and your interaction with law enforcement. Relay your experience to your attorney. Explain your concerns regarding college and driving privileges. Ask for a copy of the police report and keep records of everything. Write down the names of witnesses or people you interact with. Do not put off dealing with the accusations against you and do not just hope for it to go away. This might seem like the worst thing to happen, but you and your lawyer can take steps to lessen the impact. Next time you let loose with friends, take precautions and advise them to do the same.

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