There are numerous colleges in and around Columbia, South Carolina including Allen University, Columbia International University, Midlands Technical College, University of South Carolina, Webster University, and more.
As those colleges go on spring break, some students will travel to far-flung destinations. Many others, however, will stay put in Columbia.
If you are staying in Columbia for breaks, or if you are visiting the area, you may decide to check out a few bars and clubs. Drinking alcohol and going out partying are among the most common ways to spend spring break, and many young people who stay in Columbia will decide to do some celebrating of their own by imbibing.
The propensity of spring breakers to want to party and drink is very well known to local law enforcement. Because police know that people like to go out and drink and have a good time over spring break, police know where and when to target to try to catch young people who may be driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
Even a first conviction for DUI can have a major impact on you while you are in school. While a first DUI is usually a misdemeanor unless there was a very serious issue, such as an accident, even this misdemeanor on your record could affect future job prospects and cause problems as you try to apply to graduate schools or explore other career and educational opportunities. If you are charged with more serious felony offenses because your DUI was more than just a simple first DUI, then your ability to get financial aid for education could be impacted too.
A licenses suspension is also a consequence of a first DUI. It is important for spring breakers to realize that a license suspension almost anywhere is going to follow them to their home state. This means, for example, if you are visiting Columbia, you get arrested for DUI in Columbia, and your license is suspended in South Carolina, the suspension is also going to impact your ability to drive wherever you live.
The same is true for people who live in Columbia but who go elsewhere and are arrested for drunk driving. Interstate agreements between the states ensures the states share information about suspensions and DUI convictions so you cannot escape your suspension.
The best and only way to try to keep your license and avoid a criminal record is to be proactive in responding to charges and try to get an acquittal, get the charges dropped, or get a prosecutor to agree to allow you to plead to a lesser offense. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help.