Can a DUI Prevent You From Getting a Job?
Getting arrested for DUI — that is, driving under the influence — can greatly affect your work, whether you already have employment or are seeking employment.
It can be a particular problem if you require a car to get to and from work.
If you’re arrested for drunk driving, the officer will take your license away from you. Depending on the state you reside in, your license will usually remain suspended until your hearing, which can be weeks to months away.
You can request a restricted license to drive to and from work, but this generally requires another hearing. If you are convicted of a felony, your license will almost certainly be suspended for a minimum of one year.
Fines and Legal Fees
Getting a DUI can be expensive. For example, in the state of California, fines range from $1,400 to $2,800. That doesn’t include legal fees, which can quickly reach into the $10,000 range.
A lawyer is always recommended in DUI cases, since it’s a criminal trial. The time and money you spend here can quickly affect your ability to search for a job.
A mandatory 48 hours of jail time is required for all DUI arrests, but it can include 1-2 years of jail time depending on the severity of the crime.
If convicted of a felony, you must include it in most job applications, which can also limit your competitiveness as an employment candidate.
Some jobs discourage or disallow those with DUIs to apply, although this varies widely from state to state. Working in childcare or education is a gray area, and some districts are stricter than others.
If you are interested in working with children, contact your local school district for more information. Most other fields do not restrict adults with DUIs from applying.