It’s back to school season in Baton Rouge! And as the college kids come back to LSU, there’s bound to be more instances of partying and, unfortunately, drunk driving accidents.
The sad truth is that studies across the country have reported high rates of alcohol-related problems, including drinking and driving, among college students. This can lead to higher rates of driving under the influence charges (DUIs) — which is bad for the students — and higher rates of car accidents — which is bad for all of us.
From our personal injury attorneys at Pierce & Shows, here’s what to do if your college student gets a DUI, as well as what to do if the at-fault party in your accident is a college student.
Drinking and driving on college campuses
Studies have shown that more than 3 million college students drive under the influence of alcohol, and almost 19 percent of drunk driving accidents are caused by college-aged kids.
Roughly 2000 college students die from alcohol-related unintentional injuries such as car wrecks each year.
The issue here seems to be two-fold:
- College students are more likely than teens or adults to drink to excess
- College students often get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol
There is very little doubt that this is occurring right here in Baton Rouge, as well. We all know that colleges and universities like LSU have plenty of fun activities for students that can involve alcohol, and it’s terrifying to think that students might not be using their best judgment at these events.
So what happens to a student’s college career if they do get in trouble for drinking and driving?
What happens if a college student gets a DUI?
Generally, when a student is arrested for a DUI, the police report the charge to the student’s college or university.
This starts the beginning of issues for the college student on two ends:
- The criminal charge
- University penalties
Because universities pride themselves on creating safe environments for their students, they do not take criminal charges lightly. In fact, most schools have some sort of code of conduct that breaking a criminal law certainly affects.
University penalties for receiving a DUI charge could look like:
- Losing your scholarship funding
- Losing housing if you reside in campus housing
- Removal from clubs, activities, and sports teams
- Denial from graduation (or the holding of your diploma)
Unfortunately, the fallout from a DUI is not limited to consequences at college. Students facing a DUI could lose their driving privileges or even face a serious fine or jail time.
What happens if a college student is responsible for my accident?
If you’re driving and get into an accident caused by a college student, the first thing you need to do is stay calm.
Check yourself and your passengers for injuries and make sure you’re in a safe place (out of the way of moving traffic).
Get photos of the scene:
- Your car and the other vehicle involved
- Any injuries sustained by you or your passengers
- Road and weather conditions
Also be sure to get the contact and insurance information of the student driver
If there is suspicion of the accident being caused by drinking and driving, the police on the scene will investigate. Causing a serious injury in an accident while driving drunk can sometimes be considered a felony and lead to thousands of dollars in fines, loss of driving privileges, and sometimes even jail time.
On the civil law side of things, however, the drunk driver could also be held responsible for your injuries and damage as well. You will be able to seek restitution and compensation for any injuries.
That’s why it’s so important to get in touch with a Louisiana personal injury attorney if this has happened to you.
Contact Pierce & Shows today
Partying at a young age — especially to relieve the stress of classes — is totally understandable. The issue arises when young people choose to not act responsibly. If you or your child is facing a DUI charge in Louisiana, we can help. Alternatively, if your life has been impacted by an accident when a student chose to drink and drive, we can help you figure out your next course of action. Schedule a consultation with Pierce & Shows today.