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Why Driving Drunk Near College Campuses Should Be Avoided

Jan. 10, 2018

Many assume that because their jurisdiction is smaller, a campus police patrol's law enforcement capacity is inferior to that of larger police forces. This is far from the case.

When it comes to driving under the influence (DUI) checkpoints, they're just as likely to be set up on college campuses as anywhere else with traffic. Therefore, if you're stopped at a checkpoint while near Virginia Tech or Radford University, it's as likely to result in your arrest there as it is anywhere else.

No matter what agency sets up a DUI checkpoint, they all enforce the same Virginia drunk driving laws. That means that you will face the same charges, regardless of the location of the stop.

If you're over the age of 21 and are stopped, if your blood alcohol content (BAC) over 0.08 percent, the situation has the potential for costing you your license and resulting in your arrest. For those under the age of 21, if you drink and drive and are caught, then you'll be prosecuted under Virginia's zero tolerance laws. For minors, the presence of any amount of alcohol, even a BAC of 0.01 percent, can result in DUI conviction.

Penalties don't stop there if you're found to be driving drunk by campus police. You could face penalties in addition to the criminal consequences of a DUI.

If you're a student at a local college and it's determined that you engaged in underage drinking, the college could find that you violated the university's code of conduct as well. For those over 21, providing alcohol to a minor or being charged with another type of alcohol-related offense could also violate school policies you agreed to upon enrollment.

A charge or conviction for such as offense could result in either a suspension or expulsion from school. In other cases, it could result in the loss of scholarships that make it possible for you to attend college.

Turning around if you encounter a DUI checkpoint in hopes of bypassing police scrutiny is not likely to help you avoid being field sobriety tested for intoxication. Instead, it may lead to both your potential alcohol and drug levels being tested as many law enforcement agencies have begun carrying mouth swab kits at these checkpoints as well.

Convictions on drug charges are likely to result in your loss of federal student aid, to result in heftier fines and longer jail sentences. If you're a student facing DUI charges, then it's critical that you discuss the nature of your charges with a Christiansburg, Virginia DUI defense attorney. Your lawyer can advise you about ways that you may be able to remain enrolled in school in the immediate future.