Drunk driving statistics remain remarkedly high, with 28 people dying every day as a result of drunk driving, and about 33% of people being involved in an automobile accident that involves drunk driving at some point in their lifetimes.
Furthermore, research shows that a convicted drunk driver may have driven drunk upwards of 80 times before actually getting convicted. If you're facing a DWI or have a loved one who is, you already know the emotional, financial, and physical costs this charge can have on your record. With that said, it's also important to consider the impact it can have on your current or future career.
Understanding Convictions Vs. Arrests
If you weren't arrested for your DWI, your job search may not be impacted. Employers typically ask about prior convictions, but they don't typically ask about general arrests. This varies state-to-state, and you should always check with a qualified attorney for assistance. He or she may also be able to help determine whether you are eligible for getting a conviction expunged.
Understanding Unique Job Sensitivities
Some jobs are simply stricter than others and will have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to any kind of criminal behavior. If you're planning to work with children or law enforcement, for example, you may be faced with challenges in your job search. Any position that requires driving, such as truck or delivery drivers, can also be difficult to land. Furthermore, the military can be especially sensitive to having a criminal record.
With that said, each employer has their own set of standards and procedures. Just don't be surprised if the questions arise during your interview process. You won't want to lie, as a background check can easily exhibit your conviction.
It's important to keep your explanation honest and to the point. If you've been working to redeem yourself and make positive changes in your life, it's a good idea to highlight that appropriately as well.
Finally, if you're currently employed in a certain professional sector, a DWI can result in the loss of your professional license. Rules vary from state to state, but this can be a serious consequences should you drink and drive.
Other Problems & Issues
A DWI can inadvertently lead to many other problems including:
- The loss/suspension of your commercial driver's license.
- The potential loss of educational opportunities and eligibility for financial aid.
- Utilizing extra sick or vacation days for court appearances, alcohol treatment, or jail time.
- Financial problems (DWI costs aren't cheap!).
- Loss of future job opportunities.
It's never a smart idea to get behind the wheel after you've been drinking. You put your life and everyone's lives around you in danger- and you risk major damage to both your present and future self.
Stay safe and drive safe!
Nicole A is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist and professional freelance writer. She is passionate about helping people uncover and unleash their authentic selves (both in her therapy and written work). Nicole enjoys blogging about mental health, addiction, and self-esteem.