Getting caught driving under the influence is upsetting at the time because most people feel terrible about the lapse in judgment that resulted in the citation and are also upset about the fees and legal ramifications associated with such a charge. Once they have paid these penalties or even served their time in jail, they feel as if the incident is over, and they can return to life as they knew it before they were found guilty of driving under the influence. Unfortunately, this assumption is not always true, and a DUI charge on your driving record can affect your life in negative ways for quite some time. This is particularly true for those who are currently searching for employment.
Impact of a DUI on Job Opportunities
Although it might seem unfair, a DUI charge can haunt you for quite some time after the precipitating event. Although the law varies from state to state, some states keep a DUI conviction on the driving record for ten years. Even if the immediate consequences do not impact your chances of obtaining a job, this record might work against you. A DUI offense may affect your chances of getting a job in the following ways:
• A suspended license could make it much more difficult to get to your place of employment.
• A DUI penalty makes it impossible to apply for jobs that require you to operate a vehicle, such as delivery jobs, commercial vehicle driver jobs, and city or state government jobs. This eliminates many opportunities for available jobs.
• A DUI conviction on the record will show up during any security checks and may mark the applicant as an unnecessary risk, and if the DUI was a felony offence due to being a repeat offender, it could disqualify an employee from the job completely.
• A DUI on a background check would be a red flag to most employers who might then reconsider other applicants for the job.
• A DUI generally requires several court appearances, possible community service, and time away from work that might make most employers leery of hiring anyone with a recent DUI charge.
What is the recommended protocol for someone searching for a job who has a DUI on record? First, check with a good lawyer to see if it is possible to have the DUI expunged from the record. Even if this action is futile, a lawyer can advise you about all the legalities of your issue and whether this information must be given to a future employer.
If this path does not work, most professionals say that it is best to confess to the problem on first contact with the employer. Explain the situation, the steps that you have taken to correct your problems, and your current legal standing. If your previous work history is sound, your skills polished, and your recommendations excellent, you may be given a second chance in some fields of work.