Have you recently been arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence? Navigating the court system and the myriad of legal terms can make your head spin. Unfortunately, if convicted, you could not only lose your current job, but it could keep you from finding future employment. Most employers require their employees to have and maintain a clean driving record. However, there are several industries that make their hiring decisions based on the status of driving records.
On the Road
Any job that requires employees to operate vehicles will deny employment to someone with a DUI conviction. This is usually due to denials by insurance companies to provide liability coverage for the employee in question. However, agencies such as the Department of Transportation (DOT) bar commercial licensing for anyone with a DUI conviction. Likewise, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA) requires employees to make notification of any traffic violation, aside from parking tickets, within 30 days. Commercial drivers are further required to notify the FMSCA by the end of the next business day upon learning that their license has been suspended, revoked, or canceled for any reason. The agency may also lobby civil or criminal penalties for employers that knowingly utilize the services of any commercial motor vehicle operator that has been disqualified from driving.
In the Air
If you’re a pilot, it should come as no surprise that a DUI conviction will cause your license to be revoked. Unlike DOT, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), allows 60 days for pilot notification of alcohol or drug related convictions. However, this regulation actually includes notification of any motor vehicle action, not just a conviction. Compliance with this mandatory regulation will initiate a preliminary investigation. However, failure to report will cause the FAA to launch a formal investigation and may affect the level of sanctions imposed on the pilot. Additionally, an airman’s license may be suspended at the time of the arrest for refusing or failing a blood or breath test.
In Your Profession
Many professions have allowances for first-time DUI offenders. At the very least, professional licensing agencies will require employees to take an alcohol and drug education course or seek rehabilitation counseling. Those employed in the fields of law, medicine, and child care are most likely to lose their licenses and, therefore, their jobs. Likewise, students may lose financial aid and be unable to complete their studies. However, a qualified DUI lawyer will offer mediation in order to help employees discuss their specific situation with their employer. An attorney can also clients with clearing their record of the DUI conviction.
A DUI arrest is likely to complicate a lot of things in your life, but losing your employment on top of it will make things even harder. If convicted, you could be imprisoned and/or fined up to $10,000. You are also likely to lose your driving privileges. Unfortunately, all of these sanctions may cause you to lose your house, car, and even custody of your children.