You might expect your employer to discipline you or even terminate you for poor job performance, unethical behavior or violations of the workplace code of conduct. However, while you do not expect your activities off the clock to affect your employment status, certain events can have serious consequences, including the loss of your job or roadblocks against pursuing certain careers.
One of these events is a drunk driving conviction. Having a DWI on your record can create endless complications, including problems with your current job and future employment. Even if you do not drive for a living, an arrest and conviction for drunk driving may have a negative impact on your ability to find and maintain gainful employment.
Driving for a living
If you drive a commercial vehicle or your job involves delivery of some kind, you might have to kiss it goodbye following a drunk driving arrest. Police typically confiscate the driver’s licenses of those they arrest for DWI, and unless you fight the civil charges as well as the criminal ones, the court may suspend your license for months or even years. You will not be able to use a company car, and your employer may be unwilling to pay a higher insurance rate to keep you on the payroll.
Even if your job is not entirely driving, a suspended license will make it challenging to get to work or take care of other obligations. You may have to rely on mass transit or friends and family to get you where you need to go. Think about bumming rides every day for a year and you can imagine how quickly it will get old. A license suspension might also keep you from searching for work or cause you to miss work for court dates, community service or a jail sentence.
A drunk driving conviction on your record can prevent you from pursuing certain lines of work or from continuing working some jobs. For example, certain professional licenses are out of reach for those who have a DWI on their records since drunk driving is considered a high-risk activity. For example, becoming a financial investor, school teacher, police officer or government official may become impossible after a DWI.
Any employer will certainly do a background check, and a DWI could make you a less attractive candidate for a job. Ideally, avoiding a DWI altogether is the best way to protect your job, but if you are facing these charges, you will want to do all you can to keep a conviction off your record.