College is an incredible experience. Anyone who has gone or is currently enrolled as a student at a Georgia University understands how wonderful the experience can be. However, unlike most colleges, the University of North Georgia is a dry campus. This means there is a strict no alcohol policy on campus. Alcohol is not allowed in dorm rooms or college apartments; it is not allowed at sporting events, and it is not allowed within the boundaries of the campus.
As a result, many students are ultimately arrested for possessing, using, or being under the influence of alcohol. The result can be lost athletic scholarships, lost HOPE scholarships, and damage to a person's academic standing. For Cadets, such an arrest can lead to a lost military career. College can be some of the best years of your life, but with one mistake everything can change.
If you are a student at the University of North Georgia, you should be much more worried about being stopped for a DUI in Dahlonega or receiving a Minor in Possession of Alcohol in Georgia than if you are a student at another school in Georgia.
Here are some tips to avoid an arrest in my favorite college mountain town:
- Uber & Lyft: Take advantage of ride sharing services. A $10 fare on a college budget may not sound appealing, but an Uber ride is much less expensive than the legal fees of a Lumpkin County DUI Lawyer and fines associated with a Lumpkin County DUI Arrest. Hiring a Dahlonega DUI Lawyer is outside the budget for most students and will require most UNG students to contact their parents.
Don't Chance It: UNG uses a system of checks to determine if students are drinking or hiding alcohol on campus. If you are staying in on campus housing, the Resident Assistants pay close attention to your daily activities. By staying on campus, you have contractually agreed to allow your dorm room to be searched. This means your RA can search your room for alcohol and illegal substances at any time.
Be Careful and Vigilant when Attending Social Gatherings: When you pull down the street and hear the music rumbling and see signs of a party, remember the police can see and hear the same thing! Dahlonega MIP citations are passed out like tickets to a sporting event, and before you know it, dozens of students have an uphill battle before them, trying to preserve their future careers.
Corp of Cadets: The University of North Georgia is one of six senior military colleges in the nation. The Corp prides themselves not only in military training but also in their high academic standing and utmost moral character. It goes without saying that just like the military, the Corp of cadets does not take lightly to those that break the law. Punishment is swift and sure. The student handbook for the Corp states that any illegal contraband found in the barracks, as a result of a routine search, will be used against the cadet in disciplinary proceedings. When contraband is found, discipline may include loss of scholarships, room arrest, loss of privileges, community service, a reduction in rank, discharge from the Corp, or even expulsion from the university.
Do Not Consume Even One Drink and Get Behind the Wheel: Many students may feel like they are safe to drive because they do not feel "drunk." However, being drunk is not the standard for being under the influence in Georgia. For those over the age of 21, the legal limit is .08. At .08, most people barely feel buzzed. It is a low standard. Furthermore, a person can be charged with a DUI for being a less safe driver, even if they are below .08 or they refuse testing. Additionally, for those under the age of 21, the legal limit is only .02. As a result, almost any amount of alcohol will show a reading above .02. Do not risk an arrest for DUI. The stakes are too high, and the legal limit is quite low.
If you have been arrested for DUI, do not mistakenly believe a DUI will come off your record in a few years. A conviction for driving under the influence will remain on your criminal record for life. As a young student looking to enter the professional work force or the military after college, keeping your criminal record clean is essential. The only thing you want to follow you after college is your amazing memories and a diploma, not a terrible mistake that led to a conviction.
Whether your case is pending in Dahlonega Municipal Court or the Lumpkin County Probate Court, there are alternatives to having a lifetime criminal record. Do not assume you can handle your ticket or arrest on your own. You need the help of a Lumpkin County Criminal Defense Attorney.
If you have made a mistake, your situation is likely not hopeless. Do not let your college education and future career be jeopardized by one wrong decision. Call us for a free consultation today. Our Dahlonega Attorneys know the ins and outs of the Lumpkin County court system. Richard Lawson started his career as a prosecutor in the Lumpkin County District Attorney's Office.