A DUI or drunk driving charge is routinely seen as a horrific act. The civil and criminal penalties are fierce and such a charge can cost you your job. While the repercussions will be even more serious if you’re involved in a business that involves driving, a DUI can affect you in affect all aspects of your professional life. Here are a few tips on how to get your career back on track after a DUI, as well as how to avoid worsening conditions immediately after a DUI conviction.
Contact a DUI Attorney
Get an attorney experienced in DUI cases as quickly as possible. Even drivers who were above the legal limit should have legal representation since a good attorney may secure a short-term suspension of your driver’s license instead of losing your driving privileges or arrange for a restricted license instead. A restricted license may say you can only drive to and from work after using an Interlock Car Breathalyzer, instead of being unable to drive at all.
Tell Your Boss Immediately
Yes, it can be embarrassing to admit you’ve been found guilty of drunk driving to your boss, but it’s always better to tell your boss about the problem. You may receive sympathy when you are 10-20 minutes late after relying on a partner to take you to work. Or your boss may give you extra time to arrive for work instead of firing you for being repeatedly late. If the manager knows you don’t have a valid license to drive, you won’t get in trouble for refusing to pick up lunch for everyone or driving yourself over to visit a client. If your boss knows you’re dealing with legal problems, it is much easier to get time off to visit with a DUI attorney or attend court dates.
If you’re a driver, you must tell your boss so you don’t drive a company vehicle without a valid license. If you hide the DUI and they find out you drove their vehicle without a valid license, you’re fired with cause and will likely lose any commercial drivers’ license you have for a long time.
Comply with Court Orders
The importance of this cannot be understated. If you have to attend drug and alcohol counseling, go to every session and try to attend extras. If you need to pay reparations for damages caused by a drunk driving accident, that bill rivals the importance of your tax bill, mortgage payment, and child support. Obey the limits set on a restricted driver’s license like not taking trips to visit friends or else your driver’s license may be revoked.
When you fill out a new job application and they ask about your criminal offenses, admit to the offense and clarify on the application that it is a DUI charge. If you explain at the start that the offense is a DUI, employers will be more willing to consider an interview than if they are afraid something more serious.
If you want to minimize the impact of a DUI on your professional career, the first thing to do is get legal advice before you face your first court date. Tell your employer to reduce the risk of losing your job after you’ve lost your full driving privileges. Comply with the court orders no matter how capricious they seem. Be honest about it on a job application if the DUI results in a criminal conviction.