If you had to rank the worst mistakes you've made in your life, your recent DUI arrest would probably be high on the list. What may have begun as a hilarious party or a fun night with friends ended in the back of a police car. Now concern for your future has probably filled you with anxiety. The penalties for drunk driving in Wisconsin can follow you for many years, even if this is your first offense.
You may be facing fines and other fees, court ordered counseling or alcohol education at your expense, possible ignition interlock (also at your expense), and the loss of your driving privileges. If your insurance company doesn't decide to drop your coverage, they will certainly raise your premiums. While all of these inconveniences sound temporary, a DUI conviction may bring repercussions that will alter your life in more significant ways.
Your opportunities begin to shrink
At some point in your life, you will likely be looking for a new job. Maybe you will have earned a degree or see a posting for your ideal job. These days, many jobs require some kind of background check. Depending on the level of security or the types of clients with which you will deal, these investigations will probably reveal your DUI conviction, which means an employer could potentially pass you over in favor of someone with a clean record. The reasons for this may include:
- The position requires driving, and the company does not want to risk you having an accident on the job.
- The position is under public scrutiny, such as education, medicine, law enforcement or government agencies.
- The position requires a professional license that disqualifies people with DUI convictions or criminal records.
- The position requires you to pass a background investigation without blemish.
Some employers see a DUI conviction as evidence of more serious problems, such as alcoholism or a poor sense of judgment.
One bad decision doesn't have to ruin your life
A DUI conviction can be a major setback for your job or future career. Even if you hadn't planned to join the military, drive a truck or pursue another sensitive profession, the time you miss from work for community service, counseling or jail time can certainly have an impact on your ability to maintain a job. It may also affect the way your current or potential employers perceive you.
The best way to avoid these issues is to avoid a conviction. Obtaining a strong legal advocate will improve your chances of having the charges reduced to exclude an alcohol offense or dismissed altogether. An attorney who has a history of positive results for DUI clients will certainly have the experience to defend your rights with the best possible outcome.