The immediate impact of getting a DUI is clear. If convicted, you could lose your license. You could have to pay significant fines. You may spend time in jail. Just getting arrested on drunk driving charges could mean a night behind bars. These are the things that people warn you about when they say that getting a DUI is expensive — not to mention the increase in your insurance premiums.
But is there a more long-term impact? What is this going to mean for your career?
You would not pass a background check
First off, a DUI will appear on a background check. If you apply for a job where the employer states that they won’t hire anyone with a record, you’re not going to pass that check. Granted, many employers won’t make this statement outright, but they can still use your DUI record while making the decision. If they have two potential employees with the same skills and experience, but one has a DUI and the other doesn’t, who is going to get that job?
In some occupations, this is more serious than others. If you’re a truck driver, for instance, you may not be able to work at all. Just losing your license means losing your job until you get it back. Even after you get the license back, you may struggle to find work because employers will see you as a liability. They don’t want to get sued if you cause an accident or lose work if you get a DUI again.
Finally, some companies have policies stating that they can fire employees simply for bringing negative attention to the company. Their reputation matters. If an employee is in the news for getting a DUI, they may decide to let that person go, regardless of whether or not the DUI happened during work hours. In at-will employment states, your employer doesn’t need a reason to let you go, and getting a DUI could be more than enough to see your position eliminated.
What options do you have?
You can see how detrimental a DUI conviction can be for your life. If you’re facing charges, you must know what legal options you have.