Alcohol is usually present at campus parties and events, and Minnesota police do not lack for young drivers to pull over on suspicion of DWI.

If the college student in your family is still under the age of 21, a conviction for driving while intoxicated could deal a serious blow to his future plans.

Facing penalties

In the state of Minnesota, an underage driver convicted of DWI with a blood alcohol concentration level of less than .08 percent will have to pay a fine of up to $700 and face the possibility of up to 90 days in jail. He will also lose his driving privileges for 30 days. Furthermore, the DWI mark will remain on his record for 15 years.

An uncertain future

Every time someone performs a background check on your son, that DWI mark will come up. It may prevent him from getting into graduate school or obtaining the job he wants. It will most certainly prevent him from getting the certification or state licensing he needs for a professional career as a doctor, lawyer or teacher, for example.

Dealing with a felony

If there are extenuating circumstances to a DWI arrest, such as bodily injury to someone, property damage or child endangerment, the misdemeanor will become a felony. In addition to the educational and career problems he will face, your son could lose certain liberties such as the right to vote, to obtain a passport or to purchase a firearm, among others.

What you can do

It is almost impossible to monitor a college student’s use of alcohol, but you can make sure your son is aware of the consequences, both in terms of the short-term legal penalties and the long-term impact on his future. Your son has rights that must be protected, and there are legal options for you to consider if he should find himself under arrest for DWI. By acquainting yourself with Minnesota law relative to underage drinking and driving, you can help your son steer clear of making a poor decision that could change his prospects for a fine future.