No matter where you are, getting pulled over, arrested, and charged for driving under the influence (DUI) is serious. If the criminal charge turns into a conviction, you could face a hefty fine, a license suspension, community service, an alcohol education program, and possibly even jail time.
One aspect of a DUI conviction that many people overlook, however, is how it can impact your career. Whether it makes it more difficult to keep your old job, find a new one, or saddle you with restrictions that prevent you from pursuing a new career, a DUI conviction can have drastic implications on your employment and your current and future career.
That is why our Hall County DUI attorneys work to represent those who have been accused of driving while intoxicated throughout the greater Atlanta area.
The License Suspension from a DUI Conviction Can Make it Hard to Keep Your Job
One of the penalties of a DUI conviction is a lengthy license suspension, which makes it illegal for you to drive on the roads of Georgia, including to and from your workplace.
For some people, this can be an inconvenience. Instead of being able to travel to and from home to work at times that fit your schedule, you might have to change your schedule to fit the timetables of a bus. Alternatively, if there is someone at your workplace who drives by your house every day or who is willing to take a slight detour to pick you up, you could carpool until you are able to get your license back. Finally, you might have family or friends who are willing and able to get you to work every day. In all of these cases, though, the lack of independence can be inconvenient and force you to rely on someone else whose lack of punctuality might make you late for work.
For others, though, a license suspension can make it impossible to get to work and keep a job. There are few buses in Hall County that are reliable enough to use to commute every day, and not everyone has a close relationship with coworkers to rely on them for a lift every workday. Additionally, many spouses, friends, and family members have to be at their own workplace every day and cannot take the time to drive your commute as well.
Some Employers Fire Workers for DUI Convictions
While a DUI conviction's license suspension can make it difficult or impossible to get to work, some employers or professions see a DUI conviction as a fireable offense, and will automatically let go anybody who gets one.
The most common industry where this is the case is for professional drivers, especially truck driving. Employers in these fields take their workers' driving credentials very seriously and see a DUI conviction as enough of a reason to let someone go, even if they have performed years of solid service in the past.
There are, however, employers and companies in other fields who go to great lengths to protect their reputation and see a DUI conviction as enough of a potential blemish to fire anyone who gets one. While these companies are rare outside of the professional and commercial driving businesses, they do exist, even in Hall County.
DUIs Can Impact Some Professional Licenses
Many careers require workers to obtain and keep certain credentials or professional certifications or licenses. Some of these certifications can be revoked or suspended if you are convicted for DUI, and some others can be impacted even if you are just arrested for it. In many of these cases, the licensing board requires license holders to disclose criminal accusations – including for drunk driving – and can take punitive action against people who try to cover one up.
A good example of this in real life is for attorneys. Georgia lawyers are required to disclose any arrests and convictions to the state bar association. If the association determines that the allegedly criminal conduct is enough to taint the lawyer's ability to practice law, or puts a blemish on other lawyers in the state, they can suspend or revoke the attorney's license to practice in Georgia, effectively ending the attorney's career.
How DUIs Can Prevent You from Finding a New Job
Even if you are already out of work, a DUI conviction can impact your career by making it more difficult for you to find a new job.
Many employers in Hall County make you fill out a job application if you want a job at their company. On many of these applications, there is a question that asks whether you have been arrested or convicted of a crime. Having a DUI conviction on your record requires you to answer this question in the affirmative, or risk being found out during even a routine background check. However, if you admit to having a DUI conviction in your past, you will likely not be hired if the application process is especially competitive.
DUI Convictions Can Lead to Other Restrictions that Impact Your Career
Finally, a conviction for DUI in Georgia can come with an important collateral consequence - it can create legal restrictions that impact your career.
For example, having a DUI conviction on your criminal record can make it impossible to follow certain career paths, like a truck or bus driver. Employers who hire these types of positions will almost certainly see a DUI on your criminal history as a non-starter, and so a DUI conviction can prevent you from following your dreams.
Contact a DUI-Defense Lawyer
The impact that a DUI can have on your career is underappreciated and very severe. It also makes it even more important to vigorously defend against any criminal charge of DUI that you face in Hall County or elsewhere in the greater Atlanta area.