If you are convicted of drunk driving, your career may suffer. In addition, it may make it more difficult to find work later in life. In fact, certain jobs will terminate the position of a worker that is found to be under the influence of alcohol while behind the wheel.
Does my employer have to know?
It depends. Review your employment contract to see whether there is any direction when it comes to this issue. Some contracts demand that your employer be told as soon as possible, while others take no stand on the issue. In most cases, you will have to tell your boss, but review both your contract and your handbook to determine what to do.
Will I be terminated from my position?
This again depends on your particular circumstances, what is outlined in your contract and what happened the night that you were arrested for drunk driving. For instance, must you drive as part of your job? That makes things more difficult. Were you drinking while at a work related function? Your employer may feel they have no choice but to fire you. If you do lose your job and you do not feel that the situation was just, you can speak to a lawyer or get in contact with ACAS to find out if you have reason to be concerned. The same holds true if there was a sanction imposed upon you after the conviction.
Will I still be able to drive for work-related purposes?
You might be able to, depending on the circumstances of your case. A judge will often take away a drunk driver’s license; in some cases, it is a given, and in others, it depends on what the judge thinks is best. He or she may also decide that you are not allowed to drive anywhere BUT to and from work.
If it could go either way in your case, talk to the judge about your job and what it means to you. Tell him or her how you will be impacted if you are not able to drive. The judge may use that information to help him decide what to do in your particular case. This may also mean you need to get convicted drivers insurance suggests Conviction Insure.
Is it necessary to inform my professional association (or my potential professional association)?
Professional associations typically require that both their members, and anyone applying for membership, let them know if they were convicted of driving drunk. If you are part of an association already, they may decide that they no longer want you among their ranks. They could also impose some type of consequence on you or tell you to get alcohol abuse treatment. Obviously, you do not have to follow their stipulations, but if you want to remain a member, it is best to do what is being asked of you. If you are concerned about your professional association, read the rules to determine what needs to happen and speak to a lawyer if you are worried.
If you would like to join an association, you will likely have to tell them about your conviction. Even if you don’t, they will probably find out about it when they conduct a background check on you. However, simply because this conviction is a part of your past does not mean that you will not be allowed to join the association. It depends on your case and on the association itself.
If I have a background check performed on me, will my drunk driving conviction appear there?
Some job applications only require a Basic Disclosure. In this case, it would not show up if your conviction is spent. However, an Enhanced Disclosure or a Standard Disclosure may be required instead. In this case, a conviction for drunk driving WOULD show up.