A DUI is often advertised as the end of your world, from a career and finance point. But is it really? How doomed is someone with a DUI?
Charge vs conviction
Of course, we have to look at a DUI charge versus a DUI conviction. A lot of people believe that if you’ve been charged with DUI that you’re necessarily going to be convicted for it, too. But that’s not actually the case. In fact, given that many charges are actually made erroneously, it’s a good thing that 100% of cases don’t end in conviction!
If you have been charged with DUI in the past but weren’t convicted, then you’ll probably have nothing to worry about. This is one of the reasons why those charged with a DUI need to work with the best DUI attorney they can find. A DUI conviction is another matter, though.
The end of the world?
It’s wrong to think that a DUI is going to ensure that you remain jobless forevermore. This is often said to scare people out of drink driving. Of course, I’m not looking to convince you to do just that! But it’s important that you know that people in the business world won’t be condemning you forever for it.
Why? For the simple reason that so many people know people with DUI convictions. That’s not to make it sound like a lesser crime than it is; it’s definitely not something to be flippant about. But people, even potential employers, know that people make mistakes. You having a DUI doesn’t mean you’re going to be a bad worker.
Having said that…
Of course, this could depend largely on how long ago the conviction took place. It also rests mostly on what exactly it is you’re applying for. Let’s say you’re applying for an office job. If your conviction took place years ago and there’s been no misbehavior since? It’s unlikely that an employer is going to take it into much consideration. If it was a bit more recent - say, a couple of years ago - then they may hesitate. But if you’d be a good hire, then they probably wouldn’t pay too much mind.
But let’s say you’re applying to be a trucker, or a cab driver. If your conviction took place a couple of years ago, then you’ll probably be out of the running. In fact, to be brutally honest, a DUI could actually end any prospect of a career involving operation of machinery. This is less to do with an employer demonizing you and more about protecting themselves legally. However, it’s not impossible.
The awkward fact
So how do employers actually go about finding this stuff out? Well, if your job involves driving, then they’ll go to the DMV and check your records. Other employers might request a criminal background check. Some may not check at all. Others may ask you about prior convictions when they’re assessing you for the job.
So what do you do then? If they ask you, then tell them the truth. If they later find out you lied, you may lose the job on the spot. But what if nobody asks you? Then there’s no reason to bring it up. And, to be honest, a lot of jobs don’t require such a question to be asked.