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Can You Be Expelled From College Because of a DUI?

Posted on August 8, 2023 in

Everyone makes mistakes and the college years are not typically when we make our best decisions. But what if a bad choice risks the lives of others and puts your entire future at risk? The Arizona justice system takes drinking and driving very seriously. Over 4,500 drunk driving accidents in a single recent year in Arizona resulted in close to 3,000  injuries and 295 deaths. Sadly, Arizona is one of the top ten states for drunk driving fatalities in the nation.

If you’ve been charged with driving under the influence in Arizona, you may face serious penalties of up to 10 days in jail, license suspension, fines, and an ignition interlock device placed on your car for a year after the reinstatement of your license. But if you’re a college student, you may face further impacts from a DUI conviction.

A DUI Conviction’s Consequences on Your Education

Whether or not a college expels a student depends on the policy of that particular college as well as the seriousness of the conviction. While the majority of colleges and trade schools won’t expel a student after a first DUI conviction, expulsion may be mandatory after a second arrest. If a first conviction included additional charges for injuries or fatalities, you’ll likely face expulsion and time in prison.

Even if you don’t face expulsion, most universities and community colleges withdraw scholarships based on a DUI conviction. 

How an Arizona DUI Conviction Impacts Financial Aid

Student financial aid organizations in Arizona don’t wish to invest in the future of an individual who isn’t invested enough in their own future to make good choices. While alcohol, parties, and college social events often combine, choosing to get behind the wheel while inebriated may have life-long consequences for others as well as for your own future.

Whether or not you lose your financial aid after an Arizona DUI conviction depends on whether you’re sentenced to prison or county jail. The financial aid implications of a DUI conviction in Arizona are as follows:

  • If you’re sentenced to time in county jail you are no longer eligible for federal student loans but may still qualify for the Pell Grant. You also may still apply for a federal work/study program or the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
  • If you’re sentenced to time in a state or federal prison you’re no longer eligible for the Pell Grant or student loans but you may still apply for the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant or a work/study program—however, it may be difficult to find work for a work/study opportunity if you have a substantial prison sentence

It’s important to understand how a DUI conviction limits your educational opportunities. Even if you remain eligible for some forms of financial aid you may not place high on a priority list for limited funds if you have a criminal record.

DUI Felonies and Student Education

Some DUI convictions are felonies, including a first-time DUI with a minor passenger under age 15 in the vehicle, a DUI after a suspended license, or a DUI arrest with 2 prior convictions. A felony record disqualifies students from receiving federal student aid packages and may result in expulsion from major universities.

If you’re a college student facing DUI charges in Arizona, you’re entitled to a strong defense. A Surprise DUI attorney can defend your rights and best interests throughout the legal process ahead and give you the best chance at minimizing the long-term impacts associated with a conviction.