If you’re charged with operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol, your initial concern may be rooted in the immediate consequences in the event of a conviction. This can include everything from prison time to community service to a license suspension.

However, don’t lose sight of the fact that an OUI conviction can impact your career in a number of ways.

Furthermore, if you think you can hide an OUI from your employer or prospective employer, you’ll find it extremely difficult to do so. In today’s modern, digital age, most companies run a comprehensive background check before making a hire, so they’re likely to come across your conviction.

Here are just a few of the many ways an OUI can impact your career:

  • License suspension: If you drive to and from work every day, a license suspension will throw you for a curve. You’ll need to rely on public transportation or another person, such as a co-worker, to get back and forth. Also, if you drive for a living, such as a commercial trucker, you could lose your job.
  • Loss of professional license: If you require a professional license to do your job, such as is the case with a doctor or electrician, you must disclose your arrest to the appropriate licensing agency. If this results in a loss of license, you can no longer do your job.
  • Mandatory dismissal: Review your employment contract and employee handbook for information pertaining to criminal arrests, with a focus on driving under the influence. It’s possible it includes language about a conviction resulting in your mandatory dismissal.
  • Education: Take, for example, a college student who relies heavily on financial aid and scholarships to fund their education. An OUI may disqualify them for some types of aid, thus making it a challenge to remain in school. Subsequently, they’re unable to finish their degree program and seek a job in their desired field.

If you’re charged with an OUI, make note of the impact it will have on your career, personal life and finances. From there, compare defense strategies and choose the one that puts you in the best position to prevent a conviction.