You’re 21, and something you have wanted to do for a while is to go out and drink. For your birthday, you and your friends from college headed downtown to a popular bar. You had no idea how alcohol would affect you, and you certainly weren’t thinking about the consequences of getting arrested.

On your way home, you were stopped by the police. Now, you face a DUI and are concerned about how it could ruin your life and college experience. Will you lose your financial support if you’re convicted?

If you have a federal scholarship, you could lose it due to a DUI

If you do end up with a DUI, you could lose your scholarships. Most scholarships come with requirements or restrictions. Federal scholarships may be cancelled if you violate the law. Similarly, school scholarships may be taken away, and you could even lose your campus housing or be expelled from school.

If you’re charged with a DUI, make sure you protect yourself

If you’re accused of drinking and driving, you should make sure you learn about your legal rights and responsibilities as soon as possible. Don’t speak to the police or admit that you were drinking. If the police collected evidence, then that evidence is more than enough. You don’t need to help them convict you by admitting to a crime.

Our website has more information about college crimes and what you should do if you face a DUI and could lose a scholarship. A DUI can be serious, but with the right help, it may be possible to limit the penalties and impact of this charge.