Driving under the influence of alcohol or substances is a very serious charge. It is considered a criminal offense. Most employers run a criminal background check on their candidates before even inviting them for an interview. In most instances, a DUI charge can negatively impact your chances of getting hired. DUI convictions will appear on your permanent record, significantly impacting your chances of securing a job. But how bad is it on your record, and does it mean you can’t apply to jobs? Here are the details.
Are There Jobs You Can’t Do with a DUI Charge?
Although some employers will give you a job even if you are charged with a DUI, there are some jobs that prospective employers won’t consider you for. Examples of such jobs you can’t do with a DUI charge are:
- Law enforcement officer
- State employee
- Federal employee
- Community service
- Delivery drivers
In addition, government jobs view a DUI as a criminal offense. Since government employees are expected to have clean records, your job application will be rejected if a DUI appears on your public record.
Truck and commercial drivers must often provide a commercial driving license (CDL) along with their job application. Employers will often run a complete background check on job applicants during the hiring process for any job that entails deliveries or driving a company vehicle. When applying for a truck driving or delivery job, your potential employers will expect you to have a clean driving record to ensure that you will not put your company at risk.
Moreover, drunk driving offenses lead to automatic disqualification as no company wants to risk hiring drunk drivers who may paint a bad company picture if they have a DUI incident.
Consequences of a DUI
Not only can DUI offenses hurt your job search, but they can also affect other aspects of your life. These consequences can be either long-term or short-term.
Short-term Consequences of a DUI
Depending on the gravity of your DUI charge, it is possible to get a jail term. You may get up to 48 hours or a month of jail time if you are a first-time offender.
Being away from work can lead to your immediate replacement. Additionally, being absent from your family might cause a strain on your relationship with your spouse and children.
Deterioration of Your Mental Health
A DUI conviction can affect your mental health in many ways. You may experience a roller-coaster of emotions that affect your work productivity and make it difficult to relate with your colleagues and employers.
Most individuals charged with a DUI experience depression, frustration, low self-esteem, and in some cases, post-traumatic stress disorder.
Long-term Consequences of a DUI
1. Revocation of Your Driver’s Licence
We all know the convenience that comes with driving your vehicle. If you are a truck or delivery driver, and your driving license gets revoked, it can mean losing your job. This can also affect your personal life since you’ll have to use public transport and it may not always be convenient. As a result, one may even lose their incentive to go to work.
2. Failing Background Checks
It is a legal requirement for employers and home agents to conduct a thorough background check on an individual. Failing a DUI test means you are highly likely not to be considered for a job. This can affect your quality of life and lead to financial issues.
3. Potential Loss of Employment
Being charged with DUI can cause you to get fired from your current job. The law allows employers to terminate a job contract, as it’s a criminal charge. Job-seeking is a tedious process, even for well-educated and highly-skilled individuals. Now imagine the possibility of landing a job with any misdemeanor convictions.
4. Escalation of Auto-Insurance Rates
Car insurance rates increase drastically when one is charged with a DUI. This is because insurance views criminals as a high risk. Some companies might even refuse to insure you. This, in turn, can become financially and emotionally draining.
5. Loss of Trust by Employers and Colleagues
Your relationship with your boss and colleagues might suddenly deteriorate following a DUI charge. People’s views of you may change, and they may start to see you differently. Although your employer might let you retain your job, they might not entrust you with the company’s car or devices like laptops.
You can become easily dispensable and might be fired at the slightest mistake or when another candidate applies for your post.
Other Personal Effects of DUI Charges
Loss of Friends and Family
No matter how close you are, no one wants to be associated with a drunkard. Many people will also not let you drive them anywhere even if you did before. You might lose some friends as a result. Worse still, your family and friends might check on you constantly to ensure you are not drinking. With time, you may start to feel like everyone is invading your personal space.
Rejection by Universities
Most universities reject students with DUI convictions since they fear that they may influence other students. Any scholarship given to you by an institution might be revoked, as the organization limits scholarships to well-behaved students.
Can You Get Hired with a DUI charge?
Luckily, it is quite possible to land a job or retain your current job despite being charged with DUI. Some employers are kind enough to overlook a DUI. Interviewers may consider your job application if you meet all the other requirements.
You might get a job even with a DUI conviction if:
- You are honest about the matter.
- You convince the employers that you have changed.
- You have a lawyer to represent you.
- You show that you highly regret your actions.
If you fail several job applications, consider applying for jobs that don’t require driving.
DUIs can have a significant negative effect on your job applications. Future employers can be skeptical about hiring you if they find a DUI charge when running a background check. You might face jail time or even lose employment if convicted of a DUI, which is considered a crime in many states.
However, all hope is not lost. You can still get hired with a DUI charge if you convince the employers that you are willing to change. It is best to consider applying for jobs that don’t require driving if it becomes strenuous to land other jobs. Being honest about your DUI charge is key during interviews.
Your potential employers might already be aware of the charge, and lying about it can make you lose the job as it would prove that you are an untrustworthy individual.