Tech police warn students of lasting effects from MIP offense

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Updated: 8/20/2013 10:07 am
It's nothing new for college students, especially younger ones, to take their newfound freedoms a little too far. Drinking before they're 21 is common, but it can also be costly. 

"I mean, it's a Class C misdemeanor, so those can come back to haunt you later on in your life," Texas Tech Police Chief Ron Seacrist said. "So, one of the things we try to emphasize is learn from that, and realize that you've got responsibilities for what you do, and make better decisions next time."

"A big fine, you have to take an MIP class, you have to attend a victim impact panel, and you have to do community service, so it's a lot of work."

Lubbock County Justice of the Peace Jim Hansen said the biggest punishment is having the offense on your record permanently. 

"It actually closes a lot of doors in a lot of fields," Hansen said. "Law, medical, just about anything requiring a certification, and certainly can affect any type of employment."

"It might have happened ten years ago, when you were 19, and now you're 29 and trying to get a job," Seacrist said. "But companies look at those things, and that can certainly have a direct impact on your future employability."

Jay Killough, director of University Career Services at Tech, said all it takes is a quick glance at your record for employers to toss your job application in the trash. 

"Sometimes, employers don't do their due diligence," Killough said. "They might see something like a minor in possession, but it might be recorded a few times or repeated a few times in your record, and they might think of that as multiple offenses."

He said about 93 percent of employers will conduct background checks, but there is no set system. Each industry will emphasize different aspects of the background check, depending on the profession. 

Seacrist said Tech police issued 28 MIP citations during the last academic year, a number he said is small, especially for the number of students living on campus. He said the two times when police will give out the most citations is during football season and towards the end of the year. 
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