Most people are aware of the obvious penalties associated with being arrested on a charge of driving under the influence, including jail, fines, community service and loss of license. What many may not realize is the consequences it can have on someoneâ€™s career. For those looking for a first job or to make a career move, having a DUI penalty on their record can make the search more difficult.
*Schedule problems â€“ Being convicted of a DUI severely limits the amount of time one can schedule for interviews. The judge likely will grant driving privileges to and from work, but this may not include interviews. At the very least, the judge will likely require proof that a job interview is real before granting privileges. In addition, having a limited schedule can reduce the number of job opportunities.
*Types of jobs â€“ Certain employers, such as schools and health care facilities, will fire workers who receive a DUI conviction. Given that, it seems highly unlikely those employers will hire someone new who also has a past conviction for DUI. If the new job being sought involves driving, not having a license will obviously be a strike against the applicant. Even with a renewed license, many driving jobs may not be allowed to hire someone with a DUI.
*Social aspect â€“ More and more companies these days are becoming conscious of the social responsibility they have and are looking for candidates of high moral character. A DUI conviction can give the opposite impression to some employers. Some managers may even consider a DUI charge to be a sign of a much larger problem, such as alcoholism. Workers with alcohol problems, on average, miss more days of work and may be injured on the job more often, both of which cost the company money.
What to Do
While a DUI conviction may make it harder to find a job, there are a couple of things to keep in mind that might help.
*Hire a lawyer â€“ An attorney that specializes in DUI cases will be able to review any options that might be available. This could include having the record expunged after a certain period of time. This does not clear the record but technically the conviction would show up as reversed and dismissed by expungement. This could be an advantage if an employer does a background check.
*Be honest â€“ If an employer asks if there are any past convictions, the best policy is honesty. Being upfront about any conviction, especially a DUI, will be better than hiding it and then having the employer find out later. If there were extenuating circumstances, explain the situation.
A DUI conviction is not impossible to overcome, but it can make a job search a little more difficult. The best solution is to avoid the situation altogether, but if it does happen, hiring a good lawyer is a step in the right direction.