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If you are a student at a Florida university and have been arrested for DUI, you have even more to worry about than the criminal proceedings pending against you. Most Florida higher education institutions have a rule against driving under the influence in their student code of conduct. This means that you will also face a student disciplinary hearing in addition to the court proceedings for your DUI charge.

In Florida, you may be charged with a DUI offense under Florida Statute 316.193 if you have any level of alcohol or controlled substance in your system. This is because the law provides for drunk driving as well as a DUI offense “per se” of a BAC greater than .08%. For underage drivers, there is a zero tolerance policy in place that makes it illegal for people under the age of 21 to drive with a BAC greater than .02%. That’s less than one drink for the average person.

Once you have been arrested and charged with DUI, it may be necessary for you to take steps to officially report it to the appropriate school entity. For the University of Florida, this is Student Judicial Affairs. In other schools, the reporting process may be automated between the designated department and the police. Some schools may have both. Whatever the case, it is critical to review your school’s Student Code of Conduct as soon as possible after the incident to determine the initial action needed.

It is important to note that depending on the school, disciplinary action may be taken if you are not charged, or charged but not convicted, of the DUI offense. It is also possible if the event occurred off campus. For example, it is a violation of the UF Student Code of Conduct.”[operate] a motor vehicle while impaired or with a [BAC] at or above the applicable legal limit.” Therefore, in accordance with the Scope and Violations section of the UF code, the university may penalize the offense separately if the DUI offense:

• Arises from participation in university activities
• Represents a significant threat to the security of the university community
• Poses a significant threat of undermining the educational process of the University.

Once the entity designated by the school is officially informed of the DUI incident, you will receive official notice of your hearing. Other parties are allowed to be present at the hearing, but not to speak for you, although witnesses may speak for your case. However, you are allowed to have an advisory party during the hearing. A Florida DUI defense attorney can help you build your case and be your counsel during the hearing.

The final hearing determination will decide whether or not you are responsible for the violation. If you are found guilty, the university or college will impose sanctions, which vary by school and code of conduct, but include:

• Loss of school privileges
• Educational requirements
• Elimination of sports equipment
• Suspension
• Suspension of registration
• Graduation retention
• Eviction

Penalties for a DUI code of conduct violation could also extend beyond school into your future. Students studying in the fields of education, law, medicine, and pharmaceuticals are particularly at risk. Regardless of the field you are studying, if you have been charged with DUI, you should begin your defense for both the criminal and school disciplinary proceedings as soon as possible.

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