Stephen Wolfe March 7, 2017

Drunk driving is a dangerous act, and many people do it despite knowing this. While on campus, you may drink more than usual and get behind the wheel, but does that mean you deserve a drunk driving charge or to be convicted? Even if you are above the limit, there are still laws that the police must follow before being able to charge you and laws that protect you against conviction if those are not followed.

The stop: Your rights

To make a traffic stop, a police officer must have a reason to pull you over. If you're obeying the law, there is no real reason to stop you. If you are stopped despite staying in your lane, using your turn signals and obeying traffic laws then asked to perform a field sobriety test or to take a breath test, it may be advisable to call your attorney. If an officer stops you without reasonable cause, he or she is breaking the law and your case may be thrown out as a result.

The breath and field sobriety tests: What they really show

When you stop for an officer, he or she may ask you to get out of your vehicle to take a field sobriety test and also request a breath test. Know that if you decide not to take the breath test, you may automatically have your license revoked for a period of time. The officer should tell you the penalties for refusing the test if you decide to do so.

Taking a field sobriety test and failing doesn't automatically mean you're drunk. Usually, a breath test must also show that you have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher. In some cases, you may fail a field sobriety test for other reasons, like being tired or having poor balance due to a medical condition.

Even a breathalyzer is sometimes inaccurate, especially if you burp during the test. Remember to bring this up with the officer and your attorney if you feel the test was not accurate. Your attorney can ask for calibration records and other proof to show that the test was accurate.

Consequences of drinking at college: The law and safety

Drunk driving crashes result in injuries and deaths every year. Drinking too much at a party and getting behind the wheel will never be a good idea. If you are stopped and found intoxicated at 0.08 percent or higher, you could face penalties like time in jail, the loss of your license and a misdemeanor or felony on your record, depending on the circumstances. You may face academic consequences as well, like being kicked out of school. It's in your best interest to look into your legal options to fight these charges as soon as possible.