The consequences of a drunk driving conviction can be severe in Florida. Motorists convicted of driving under the influence for the first time can spend up to six months behind bars, and repeat offenders face mandatory jail time. A driver is considered intoxicated in Florida when toxicology tests reveal that they have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or higher, but the BAC threshold for individuals under the legal drinking age of 21 is just 0.02%. That means most college students in the Sunshine State could be arrested for drunk driving if they operate a motor vehicle after consuming a single can of beer, glass of wine or shot of liquor.
College students and DUI charges
College students who face DUI charges in Florida have more to worry about than fines and jail time. Being convicted of driving while under the influence could lead to a student losing their scholarship and campus accommodation. If students are involved in serious drunk driving incidents, they could even be expelled. A drunk driving conviction can cast a long shadow in the Sunshine State. DUIs remain on driving records for 75 years in Florida, and they remain on criminal records for life.
The facts matter
Some consequences are inevitable following a DUI conviction, but the most serious sanctions are reserved for motorist who have multiple prior drunk driving offenses or cause accidents that result in serious injury or death. When a college student is charged with drunk driving for having a BAC higher than 0.02% but lower than 0.08%, they are unlikely to be expelled or lose their scholarship. However, their DUI will still be discovered during background checks, which could make pursuing a career that requires professional credentials more difficult.
Students should learn the law
Students who wish to stay out of trouble should learn about the DUI laws in the states where they attend college. All states have a much lower BAC threshold for drivers under the age of 21, and many have mandatory penalties for first-time offenders. In Florida, a DUI conviction can harm career prospects because it will appear on DMV checks for 75 years and criminal background checks for life.