DUI Charges & Your Job

Getting a job after a DUI is not an easy task. Neither is keeping the job you already have. Drinking and driving is frowned upon by employers – especially if you’re applying for a position in which you’ll be asked to drive often. Hiring someone with a DUI on their criminal record can be a liability for employers.

While it may seem like the odds are against you, you do have a fighting chance. By understanding how a DUI can harm your current career and future opportunities, you can convince employers that you can be trusted and you won’t engage in that sort of behavior again.

By far the best way to avoid employment consequences after a DUI arrest it to fight your charges and obtain either the dismissal of the case or a verdict of not-guilty. To learn more about what defense strategies might be available to you, call O’Meara Law today at 312-909-0706 for your free case consultation.

How a DUI Can Harm Your Career

As a misdemeanor, a first-time DUI may seem like a minor setback, but it can have lasting consequences, especially to your current or future career opportunities. These employment consequences include:

  • Loss of driver’s license. A DUI conviction, or even failing or refusing a breath test will result in the suspension of your license, which can make it difficult to get to and from work. If you drive a bus or truck for a living – you won’t likely be able to after a DUI is on your record. You’ll need to look for a new job.
  • No auto insurance. Your insurance company may refuse to cover you if you are convicted of a DUI. Without insurance, you won’t be able to drive to work without incurring the risk of further criminal penalties. And if your insurance company does continue to cover you, you can expect your rates to skyrocket.
  • Absenteeism. A DUI requires mandatory court appearances, treatment, and possible jail time. Missing excessive amounts of work can cause you to lose your job.
  • Automatic firing. Many jobs clearly state in employee handbooks that a criminal conviction is grounds for immediate termination. Even if your company policy does not explicitly list a DUI as a reason for termination, you may still be fired on the spot unless you have a compelling reason why you should stay.
  • Loss of professional license. Doctors, nurses, lawyers, and contractors need licenses to work. If they are convicted of a DUI, they must let their licensing agency know. This means they could lose their licenses.

How to Bounce Back after a DUI

When applying to jobs, you’ll notice that many applications ask you to list any prior convictions or ask you to consent to a background check. While listing a DUI can certainly put a wrench in your employment plans, it’s better to be upfront and honest about the situation rather than making a misstatement in your job application, which if discovered can have serious consequences. This approach shows that you can be trusted, even though you may not be proud of your past.

When it comes to employment, abide by a don’t ask, don’t tell policy. You definitely do not need to disclose the situation right away – not even during an interview. In fact, some employers won’t even ask you. Some may not even care. But if they do ask, hopefully, you will have established some rapport by then, so you can explain the circumstances and hopefully gain their understanding.

How O’Meara Law Can Help

The single best way to avoid having your drunk driving interfere with your career is to fight your charges from the beginning. DUI cases are complex, and there are many stages at which an oversight by the authorities may be exploited by your Chicago DUI lawyer. For example, you may be able to have your charges dismissed if there is evidence that the police pulled you over without a reasonable suspicion that you were doing something illegal, or that your blood sample was mishandled during the laboratory test. In short, it’s best to have a skilled lawyer look at your case before pleading guilty to your charges.

For aggressive representation, consider attorney Michael O’Meara, a former prosecutor with two decades of courtroom experience. To find out how he might defend your case and keep you from missing out on future employment opportunities, call O’Meara Law at 312-909-0706 for your free case assessment.