How Does a DUI Affect My Job Search?

You may have had many things on your mind the last time you were out with your friends. Perhaps you were concerned about impressing an attractive person at the bar. Maybe you were celebrating a special occasion or nursing a broken heart. The furthest thing from your mind was work because, after all, that's what good times are for.

Unfortunately, what happened next could have you thinking of little else besides your job. If police pulled you over under suspicion of drunk driving, you have every reason to be concerned about your job and your future. Not only are you at risk of missing days at work to handle your legal issues, you may find your employer now has questions about your ability to make good decisions. Additionally, a DUI can negatively affect your future employment opportunities.

When a DUI can make a difference

A conviction for a DUI, even a first-offense misdemeanor, can have far-reaching consequences that you may not even realize. Years from now, you may apply for your dream job only to learn that the conviction on your record disqualifies you for the position. While not every employer will weigh a DUI conviction so heavily, certain professions take DUIs very seriously, for example:

  • Jobs that require driving, such as delivery, CDL driver and some construction jobs
  • Jobs that include the use of a company vehicle, such as sales representative, district manager, or trades such as electrician or plumber
  • Professions that include working around children, such as teaching or day care
  • Positions that require the handling of drugs, such as the pharmaceutical or medical field
  • Professions that follow strict certification rules, such as nursing
  • Jobs where you are handling sensitive materials, such as the financial industry or some government positions

If you are currently looking for a job in Wisconsin, your search may be on hold while you wait out your driver's license suspension. This may require you to bum rides from friends or relatives, use public transportation or rely on ride-sharing, which can quickly become expensive. These modes of transportation also make it more difficult for you to make sure you arrive on time, and this could present an unfavorable impression even for those potential employers who are not so concerned about a DUI conviction.

Of course, the best way to keep your job and your future opportunities secure is to find alternate ways home after a night out with your friends. However, if you are facing charges for drinking and driving, you would do well to seek every advantage for avoiding a conviction that can derail your future.