College students in Irvine have a lot to lose if they are convicted of a DUI-related charge. The effects of a DUI conviction can impact many areas of a person's life, perhaps even some that they would never expect could be affected.
LifeAdvancer.com examines how a DUI could potentially ruin a person's life. They explain that first-time offenders will usually be facing a misdemeanor charge rather than a felony. The harshness of the penalty an individual faces can also vary depending on several different factors, including:
- Willingness to participate in treatment programs
- Military service and good character references
- Whether or not bodily harm was caused
- BAC impairment level
- Specific state laws
Penalties can include fines, fees, jail time, and license revocation or suspension. A person could have an ignition interlock installed and may lose certain driving privileges.
FindLaw states that California has some of the strictest DUI laws in the country. Even a first offense without bodily injury can result in fines as large as $2,000, 48 hours in jail, license suspension, and alcohol education program enrollment. Those who continue to get DUI convictions could end up paying $18,000 or more, spending over a year in jail, and be forced into attendance at even longer alcohol education programs.
For a college student in particular, these penalties can be life-altering. At a time where one should be studying and participating in school activities, they are instead being forced to do time for the charges they were convicted of. The stigma of a DUI conviction could haunt them well after the fact, too, making strong representation in court crucially important.