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What college students need to know about drinking and driving

Driving under the influence is a serious crime. In Alabama, DUIs are misdemeanors, but the consequences for even a first-time conviction are severe. You could face imprisonment, license suspension and fines. The court might even mandate substance or alcohol abuse treatment. Your insurance will probably increase. For adults over the age of 21, the blood alcohol content for a DUI is anything over 0.08 percent. 

College students who are between 18 and 21 years old may face a charge of a DUI for a BAC over 0.02 percent. In addition to the DUI, underage drinkers may face other charges, for example, soliciting alcohol or possession of a fake ID, if that is how he or she obtained the alcohol. If there are underage passengers in the car who are drinking, law enforcement can charge the driver with distributing alcohol to a minor or child endangerment. 

What to do if you are pulled over while driving 

Having law enforcement stop you is stressful even when you were not drinking. Alabama’s implied consent law means that you consent to taking a chemical test to determine BAC just by driving on a public road. If you refuse this test, for a first offense, you will receive a 90-day suspension. Typically, it does not help you to refuse to take the test. It is recommended that you cooperate with law enforcement, but be cautious about what you say to the officer to protect your rights. 

The best way to avoid a DUI is to call a cab or stay where you are if you were drinking. If you do find yourself charged with a DUI in Alabama, you might want to talk to an attorney about a possible defense. A DUI might prohibit you from getting a professional license or maintaining your scholarship. You should explore your options to find the best possible outcome for driving under the influence. 

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