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How a drunk driving conviction can affect your career

A drunk driving conviction can affect many areas of your life. Your career is one of these areas. Of course, the best way to keep a drunk driving conviction from harming your career is to simply avoid getting the charge in the first place. But if you do find yourself facing a drunk driving charge, you need to plan your defense carefully.

There are several ways that you might notice a drunk driving conviction adversely impacting your job. Here are a few of them.

Automobile insurance policies

Employers that require their employees to drive company vehicles usually provide motor vehicle insurance for them. Many of the insurers that provide commercial policies won't write them for employees who have negative marks on their driving records. You might be given the option to purchase your own policy, but you may find that this is an expensive option that doesn't really make sense.

Employment policies

Companies usually have policies on the books that enable them to fire employees who are convicted of a criminal charge. You need to find out if this policy exists at your job. You should do this as soon as you know you are facing a DUI/OUI charge. It is usually better to handle these situations head-on than to wait around and spring the issue on your employer at the last minute.

Driver's license suspension

A driver's license suspension may affect your job if you have to drive as part of your work duties. The length of the suspension varies, so your employer might be willing to work with you while you can't drive. Once you regain your ability to drive legally, you might be required to use an ignition interlock device, which could be costly. Your employer might not want this on their vehicle. Plus, there is still the insurance issue that you will have to deal with.

Program participation

Sometimes, a drunk driving conviction comes with court-ordered program participation. Community service, drug and alcohol education, and similar programs might require you to miss work sometimes. Some employers won't accept this and may choose to terminate your employment.

Some careers are hit harder by a drunk driving offense than others. Police officers, delivery drivers and truckers might have a difficult time after this type of conviction. Make sure you consider your career as you are planning your DUI/OUI defense.

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