Being arrested on charges of driving while intoxicated is a clear setback for a driver of any age, but particularly for a college student. Most students don’t have any disposable income in their budgets, let alone the money it takes to cover the high fines, court costs and elevated car insurance premiums that drunk-driving suspects face. Another major concern is the hit to a student’s reputation and status. Athletic and academic scholarships are often dependent on exemplary behavior, and a drunk-driving conviction can instantly shatter a student’s good standing.
Student athletes hoping to make a name for themselves in college need to be especially careful about avoiding legal trouble. A 19-year-old sophomore basketball player for North Carolina State University is finding this out the hard way after being arrested on suspicion of DWI in the early-morning hours of New Year’s Day.
Not many details are available about the young man’s traffic stop or arrest, but it appears no one was injured that night as a result of his actions. He was stopped in Raleigh around 2 a.m. — not surprising, given the heavy police patrols that were in effect for New Year’s Eve. The charges against him include driving while impaired and underage drinking. His court date is set for Feb. 6.
The student hasn’t dressed for a game since his arrest, and it’s unclear when or if he’ll be allowed to play again. As a walk-on guard for NC State, he doesn’t risk losing an athletic scholarship, but missing out on his second season doesn’t bode well for his basketball career.
Because this is believed to be the student’s first drunk-driving-related offense, he may be able to avoid the harshest penalties that drunk drivers face in North Carolina if he’s convicted. But our state does have some of the toughest laws in the country, and like other defendants, this student could benefit from a consultation with an attorney who focuses on the defense of drunk-driving suspects.
Source: WRAL.com, “NCSU basketball walk-on charged with DWI,” Jan. 10, 2013