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Drunk Driving (Can I get into school?)

Main Question or Discussion Point

Okay. Let's try to save the morality speeches for another time. I would rather not talk to much about my past then is necessary. I know I was a retard and have since then given my life an entire makeover.

I am close to thirty years old. I was bagged for drunk driving once at 19 and once at 23. I know, I know. I am lucky no one got hurt (except me, I almost died the second time, but I don't count since it was my own fault).

My problem is this. A year after my close encounter with death I decided to go back to school. I started part time and worked my way up to full time. Finally I have my associates with honors and I am ready to transfer. I filled put the entire common application form and then I got to this:

"Have you ever been convicted of a misdemeanor,felony.......If yes explain."

Great. I have two misdemeanors and even worse I have to try to explain them. How the hell do you explain two OUIs? "By the way, on top of my flawless GPA I'm an a$$hole driver with no regard for human life."

That is clearly what they will think of me. I just don't know if I have any options. I hate the thought of lying on the application. I do not think that is a valid option.


I doubt anyone can relate to me right now, but I thought I would ask anyway.
 

Answers and Replies

512
0
Just stress the fact that you have learned from your mistakes and see returning to school as a way of 'redeeming' yourself.
 
108
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Everybody derserves a second chance and sometimes even a third chance. In your case, I'd say your deserving of a third chance considering you have cleaned up your act.
 
chroot
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
10,165
34
Sensible people will not continue to punish you for things you did a decade ago.

- Warren
 
180
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Due to the fact that these events happened over half a dozen years ago, I don't think it will hurt you. It certainly won't help you, but as chroot said, any understandable person should realize that you've grown up and are into adulthood.
 
stewartcs
Science Advisor
2,177
3
"Have you ever been convicted of a misdemeanor,felony.......If yes explain."
It seems odd that they are asking about a misdemeanor. I wasn't aware that schools actually did background checks.

CS
 
mathwonk
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
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why not? i might not give you a drivers license but i don't see why you wouldn't qualify for an academic degree.
 
191
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why not? i might not give you a drivers license but i don't see why you wouldn't qualify for an academic degree.
I agree. I have no idea what drunk driving has to do with your academics at school. Yeah you may have failed in life in that aspect, but it has nothing to do with your education.
 
jtbell
Mentor
15,395
3,179
I hate the thought of lying on the application. I do not think that is a valid option.
Correct. As others have said, your DUI's probably will not have an effect on your chances of admission, but lying about them definitely can have an effect if they find out about it, and your convictions are on the public record. So I would answer "yes" and be prepared to explain it.
 
neu
220
1
I don't know about the US, I suspect it's far from the case, but in the UK depending on the offence, you don't have to mention it if it's 6 years past for a job application as the CPS check only covers that period, let alone a decade.

But the US is different, and I suspect harsher. Although, look at Paris Hilton?
 
1,040
4
Schools in the US typically ask about criminal records for two reasons: (1) they face liability if you later harm another student; and (2) persons with criminal records are barred from some programs, e.g., early childhood education, pharmacy, etc.

I suggest you contact an attorney in the jurisdiction (state if you're US) where you got the convictions and find out whether you can possibly obtain a pardon or have your record expunged. Then, you need also to find out whether you have to divulge the convictions if you have a pardon or expungement.

Barring that, tell the truth. If pressed, use the "I found Jesus" explanation. But, accept that some doors will be closed to you all your life.
 
G01
Homework Helper
Gold Member
2,649
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I hate the thought of lying on the application. I do not think that is a valid option.
It isn't. As jtbell said, geting caught lying about those DUI's will put you in a worse situation. I would mention the offenses and explain yourself and explain how you have changed. Think of it this way. Talking about the DUI's on you application and explaining your position shows that you are accepting responsibility for your actions and made successful effort to change for the better. Good luck!
 
Moonbear
Staff Emeritus
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The "explain" part means write down "DUI," it doesn't mean explain why you got a DUI (just in case that isn't clear). I'm sure you're not the only applicant with dings in the past...they want to make sure that someone with a mile long rap sheet for burglary or rape isn't going to be living in dorms though. If at some point you do get asked about it, all you need to tell anyone is pretty much what you've shared here...you were young and stupid, the second DUI nearly killed you, and that woke you up to be more serious about your future, which you started off doing by getting your Associate's Degree, and your grades speak for your seriousness in changing your life for the better.
 

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