Can a DUI Conviction Ruin My College Career in South Carolina?

February 22, 2024

Deciding whether or not to go to college is a major milestone in any young person’s life. Unfortunately, one mistake can have a devastating impact on your college life. The Rock Hill, SC DUI defense lawyers at Barboza Law can mitigate the damaging effects of an arrest.

Every DUI arrest is different. Depending on the particulars of your case, there may be several strategies to help protect your college dream.

Can I Lose My College Acceptance Over a DUI?

Getting accepted into a college can be brutal. Every university has its own unique application process. The extensive admissions requirements can include essays, interviews, referrals, and a background check.

If you have been arrested for an underage alcohol violation, it may result in an automatic denial of admission. According to data, more than 3,000 people under the age of 18 were arrested for driving under the influence in the last reporting year. In addition, over 2,000 minors were arrested for drunkenness.

Colleges Take Driving Under the Influence Very Seriously

South Carolina has been under tough scrutiny for the number of drunk driving accidents on its roads for years. Recently ranked 7th in the nation for driving under the influence according to Forbes, South Carolina college and university admissions may use greater discretion before admitting students with a history of alcohol violations.

Will My University Kick Me Out if I Get a DUI?

Campuses generally have their own policies regarding alcohol-related behavior. Often, they may be listed under the school’s codes of conduct. Expulsion for a DUI or any other alcohol-related offense is at the complete discretion of the school. However, the type of offense may play a part in the school’s decision.

In the last reporting year, drivers between the ages of 21 and 29 made up 33% of all DUI arrests nationwide. A DUI charge may be a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances of the arrest. Some colleges may look at the type of DUI on your record before deciding whether or not to expel a student. Some factors that may considered include:  

  • If the DUI arrest involved drugs or alcohol
  • If the DUI resulted from a car crash
  • If anyone was hurt or killed in a DUI collision

While alcohol and college students are hardly a rare combination, the reality is that you can be expelled for a DUI. Speaking to an experienced DUI defense attorney can help you determine the best course of action for your particular set of circumstances.

Can I Lose my Scholarship or Financial Aid?

It is possible to lose your scholarship for a DUI in South Carolina. Scholarships are not federally funded. Instead, they are handled by various private organizations and private donors. As such, they can set their own regulations and restrictions regarding the money they give students. If you are facing a DUI charge, a foundation may pull your scholarship even without a conviction.

On the other hand, FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is controlled by the government. Students are eligible to receive funds regardless of a DUI. As of July 1, 2023, students can now qualify for FAFSA with drug-related offenses, as well.

Can I Get Kicked out of Student Housing for a DUI?

Depending on your school’s code of conduct, you may be asked to leave student housing for a DUI conviction. Some universities boast a “no tolerance” policy for alcohol or drug-related offenses. If so, your college may have no choice but to bar you from student housing.

If the school does allow you to stay, they may revoke your driving privileges. While some large-scale universities may have adequate student transportation, the vast majority of schools in South Carolina may be difficult to navigate without a reliable vehicle.

Will a South Carolina DUI Conviction Affect My Chosen Career Path?

A DUI can affect far more than schooling. Some careers require a clean background check to work in the industry. If you are convicted of driving under the influence, you may be forced to change majors and pursue another career path.

Some of the most common professions affected by a DUI include:

  • Teachers
  • Healthcare workers, like doctors and nurses
  • Pharmacists
  • CDL drivers
  • Real estate agents

If you have recently been charged with a drug or alcohol-related DUI, it is time to protect yourself and call a criminal defense attorney in Rock Hill.

Contact a DUI Defense Attorney in Rock Hill, South Carolina Today

A DUI lawyer in South Carolina has the experience and skills you need to mount a strong defense. Attorney Barboza understands the devastating impact a DUI can have on a young person’s life. In so many ways, a college education can set the course for the rest of your life.

If you are facing a DUI arrest in South Carolina, contact Barboza Law to discuss the details of your case. We can offer various strategies to protect your rights and your future. Call (803) 973-6003 to schedule a consultation today.