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DUI FAQs: Can a DUI Affect College Admissions Decisions?

How a DUI May Affect Your Future

If you are convicted of a DUI, it will go on your criminal record. Consequently, it can significantly impact your future, especially when you must disclose whether you’ve been convicted of a crime. Many college applications ask applicants to inform them of their criminal record (or at least disclose whether the applicant has been convicted of a felony), suggesting that these universities consider this when making admissions decisions.

On college applications that require disclosure of criminal records, it’s hard to say what impact a DUI will have on the school’s admission decisions. In some cases, it could be that the university will outright reject an applicant with a DIU. More likely, they will consider this information holistically or in context with the applicant’s entire application.

Because there is a very real likelihood that a DUI conviction will negatively impact your college application process, you should secure legal representation as soon as possible if you are arrested on suspicion of a DUI.

What About If You Got a DUI Before You Were 21?

Because alcohol consumption and purchase by those under 21 years of age are illegal in Tennessee, the threshold for getting a DUI is also much lower. Case in point, if you are under 21, you may be charged with a DUI if your BAC is .02% or greater. That said, the penalties associated with an underage DUI are typically less severe, especially if the driver’s BAC was under .08%. But what bearing does this have on college admissions? Do you have to disclose an underage DUI on your college application?

Whether you must disclose your underage DUI on your college application depends on the circumstances of your case and the application requirements of the university to which you are applying. Generally speaking, in Tennessee, you cannot expunge DUI convictions from your records. However, if your DUI happened when you were a minor and you were charged with delinquency and not a DUI, you may be able to expunge the record.

If you were convicted of an underage DUI, you should speak with an attorney regarding your situation and whether expungement is an option.

Can You Get Expelled from College for a DUI?

Just as getting a DUI can impact your university admissions, getting a DUI may also affect your student status as a college student. Many universities have conduct requirements, meaning that a criminal conviction while a student can result in expulsion.

Other potential consequences of a DUI conviction can include:

  • A loss of scholarship funding
  • A loss of other forms of financial aid
  • A loss of school-sponsored housing
  • Disqualification from participating in college athletics
  • Disqualification from specific educational tracts
  • Expulsion from university clubs and organizations

The Impact of a DUI on Your Future Career

A DUI conviction has long-term consequences that can extend beyond your college years. Many professions require licensure, and a DUI conviction can preclude you from getting that necessary license. It can also restrict your ability to belong to critical professional organizations or be selected for important residencies, internships, or apprenticeship programs. Further, if you intend to go to graduate school, a DUI conviction may also make getting into a grad program difficult.

As you can see, a DUI conviction can seriously derail your life. This is why competent, aggressive representation is so important. If you are arrested on suspicion of a DUI, your first step should be to call a skilled lawyer experienced in handling DUI cases in Tennessee (or in whatever state you received your DUI). Do not assume that just because you are innocent, you will not be convicted, and do not assume that just because you are young, a DUI conviction doesn’t matter. When it comes to a DUI conviction, your entire future may be at stake.

For skilled DUI defense representation, reach out to Casey, Simmons & Bryant, PLLC. We are here to help you.