Following a DUI arrest, there is undoubtedly a lot going through your mind. For instance, you are likely wondering if you will lose your driver’s license or even if a DUI will simply ruin your life. Chances are, your life won’t be ruined, but the impact can still be serious. In some cases, it can have long-term ramifications on your career or future professional opportunities. The following is an overview of how a DUI arrest and subsequent conviction can adversely affect your career.
DUI Arrest: Impact on Your Career
A DUI arrest alone can result in the loss of your driver’s license due to an administrative suspension. So, even when you haven’t been found guilty, you are still treated like it. What’s more: not only will your driver’s license be suspended, but when the police file the DUI report and it goes to your state’s department of motor vehicles, the DUI arrest becomes part of your driving record. With both of these consequences––driver’s license suspension and driving record––your career could be jeopardized depending upon what you do.
There are two basic ways a DUI arrest can affect your job. For starters, many of you don’t use or don’t have access to public transportation, so if we lose our driver’s license, it follows that you can’t get to and back from work unless you have reliable friends or family members who won’t mind being your taxi. For some of you, your job (or potential job) may require you to drive to perform functions, and in many of these instances, the employer provides a company vehicle. Without your license, you can’t drive, so you can’t work. If you are applying for such a position, the DUI arrest will show up on your driving record, and that could negatively impact the way the hiring team views you.
There’s another way a DUI arrest can affect your job, and that’s if you have a commercial driver’s license (CDL). Under the federal Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986, each state must set CDL licensing requirements. Depending on the circumstances, your CDL could be suspended or even revoked due to a DUI arrest. If that happens, you can’t drive for your employer. If you are applying for a CDL position, as mentioned above, the DUI arrest on your driving record will reflect poorly on you as a candidate for the job.
Protect Your Job after a DUI Arrest
The good news, if you can call it that, is this: you may be able to apply for a hardship permit or a restricted permit––each state has its own unique name for it. This permit will allow you to drive to specific places, like school, the grocery store, the doctor, and, of course, your job.
There’s more good news, too. When you hire a competent, well-vetted DUI defense attorney in your area––one who handles administrative proceedings, too––then you could avoid a suspension of your driver’s license. A DUI defense attorney can review your case and attend the administrative hearing on your behalf. A persuasive argument may be all you need. If the outcome isn’t what you had hoped, not all is lost. The DUI attorney has a pretty good idea of what the State’s argument against you might be and what evidence it may have to prove its argument. With that critical information, your DUI attorney can start building a responsive, aggressive case.
DUI Conviction: Impact on Your Career
CDL drivers are not the only professionals who need to worry about career ramifications of a DUI. Quite the contrary, comprehensive criminal background checks are now standard practice across a wide range of different industries. A conviction for a DUI will be the end of your clean criminal record, and it may be used as a justification to deny you a position after a criminal background check is conducted. There are also those who hold positions that require professional licenses. A DUI conviction could be reason enough to suspend your professional license. Consider the following professions:
- Teachers and other educational professionals. More and more school districts are requiring in-depth background checks for teachers. In some jurisdictions, they are mandated by state law.
- Doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals. In recent years, the American Medical Association has expanded the use of background checks. A doctor, nurse, or other health care professional could be denied a position due to DUI or other criminal convictions. If you are convicted while you have your medical or nursing license, you typically have to report it to the Board. There may be a warning, or there could be a suspension.
- Licensed commercial pilots. Under Federal Aviation Regulation (FAR) Part 107, commercial pilots are required to submit to comprehensive criminal background checks. A DUI conviction will show up on these background checks. In some states, a DUI conviction can also result in the suspension of pilot licenses, even for private pilots.
Protect Your Career, Fight a DUI Conviction
You can fight your DUI. With a qualified DUI defense attorney who has the experience and resources, you have a good chance. Of course, it all depends on the circumstances, but DUI cases are complex as is the evidence required to convict you. Mistakes made by the police and others can lead to the inadmissibility of evidence. Without sufficient evidence, the state will likely lose its case.
Once you are acquitted, your attorney can move to have the DUI arrest record expunged, too. This safeguards you from future background checks. Plus, if you have a professional license, you will report the verdict in your favor, and that should end or prevent any disciplinary action against you.
But remember, each state has its own specific rules. Speaking to an attorney in your jurisdiction is critical to taking the right steps in your DUI case.
Get All the Support You Need to Save Your Career & Fight a DUI
Were you arrested and charged with a DUI? Professional help is available. We have experienced DUI defense attorneys in your local area who can help and are ready to protect your rights. Contact Restorify by DUI.org today by calling (866) 283-4452 or by reaching out to us through our online contact form.