In Pennsylvania, a DUI conviction can result in consequences such as fines, license suspensions and even incarceration, depending on the severity of the offense. Beyond the legal penalties, a DUI can also impact many aspects of everyday life, including a person’s current employment status and future career options.
Individuals need to be aware of the potential repercussions of DUI convictions to their professional lives.
DUIs can affect employment
In Pennsylvania, employment is usually at-will, meaning companies can terminate employees without specifying a reason. This leaves individuals vulnerable if they face accusations related to a DUI offense. Employer policies regarding DUIs can vary widely. Some do not penalize employees for actions that occurred outside of work. Others have zero tolerance for any criminal charges, including impaired driving.
Professional licenses and DUI
Certain professionals, like doctors and lawyers, need licenses to work in Pennsylvania. DUI charges can jeopardize these licenses, especially when there are multiple offenses. Disciplinary actions may include a temporary suspension or even a full revocation of one’s license.
Reporting qualifications differ by occupation. For example, Pennsylvania teachers and school staff must disclose past DUI convictions when applying for school positions. Many professionals, such as doctors and attorneys, must report DUI convictions immediately. Others, such as dentists, can postpone disclosure until they renew their licenses.
Commercial truck drivers and delivery workers often face more significant career challenges following a DUI conviction. These jobs typically require a Commercial Divers License, and a DUI could lead to a disqualification ranging from a yearlong suspension to a lifetime ban, depending on the circumstances.
Future job hopes
Getting a DUI might hurt a person’s chances of finding work later. Employers are 60% more likely to call back applicants without criminal records than those with prior offenses. Furthermore, companies often ask about past criminal convictions on job forms or during interviews, including DUI charges. Background checks can also reveal past DUIs and cause employers to pass on applicants.
Avoiding DUI charges is important, not only for legal reasons but also for safeguarding future job prospects.