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Will a DUI Cost You a Job?

Car keys placed next so several glasses with alcoholic drinks inside and portraying how will a DUI cost you a job.

It is a possibility. Besides having to pay much higher rates for DUI car insurance, getting a DUI will affect your life in many ways, including your current and future employment opportunities. Most first-time DUI’s are misdemeanors, which won’t have quite as much impact. But under certain circumstances, a DUI can be a felony – and that changes the picture quite a bit. Either way, once you get a DUI, your life will be different, at least for awhile.

A lot can happen after a DUI. Your life will get stressful. Your family and relationship status may change. And your car insurance rates will probably skyrocket. Your insurance company could even cancel your coverage when it comes time to renew your policy. A DUI can impact your employment in many ways, but you can take positive steps to overcome this mistake. Here are 9 ways a DUI may affect your employment chances.

1. Mandatory Firing Policy

In this social media-driven world, image is part of the job. Many employers have added conviction of a crime as grounds for firing in their contracts and employee handbooks. Unless it specifically states in your employee handbook that you must tell your employer if you get convicted of a crime, you don’t necessarily need to let them know. However, when applying for a job, always be honest on the job application. Many positions, such as one that involves any driving for a company, will ask – and check.

2. Punctuality

You may be a great employee, but if you lose your license and have to take public transportation to work, you could be fired for chronic tardiness. If you’re a delivery driver, well, we don’t even need to finish this sentence. If you are put in a position of frequently borrowing a car or renting a car, you should look into purchasing non-owner car insurance. It will save you money in the long run over rental car insurance.

3. Absenteeism

Being arrested for DUI usually means using sick and vacation days to cover imprisonment, court appearances, and mandatory alcohol treatment. You may also have to explain why you need so much time off from work, which could be damaging.

4. Loss of Insurance

Even if your license isn’t suspended, your car insurance company may drop you because a DUI conviction makes you a riskier driver who needs high-risk car insurance. If you drive a company vehicle or construction equipment, your employer may fire you rather than lose its own coverage or pay more for insurance just to keep you on payroll. You may be helpful, professional, and personable, but you’re also replaceable.

In most cases, a conviction for DUI also means you are required to file an SR-22 certificate. An SR-22 certificate typically comes with much higher auto insurance rates – and just because you don’t own a car, you’ll still have to purchase non-owner SR-22 auto insurance.

5. Loss of Your Professional License

Doctors, nurses, lawyers, and other professionals are often required to tell their licensing agency that they were convicted of DUI. Rules vary from state to state and agency to agency, but one thing is for sure: if you lose your license, you lose your livelihood.

Man sleeping behind the wheel with a beer bottle

6. Loss of Your Commercial Driver’s License

In some states, a DUI remains on your commercial driving record for 55 years. In others, it’s a life-long tarnish. Whether you’re 21 or 51, your commercial driving career is probably over.

7. Loss of Educational Opportunities

If you lost your commercial driver’s license and you’re thinking about going back to school to pursue a new career, be aware that colleges and universities may ask about criminal convictions. A DUI may even affect your ability to apply for financial aid. Some providers may ask you to prove that you’ve gone through a treatment program.

8. Diversion Program Problems

Your DUI attorney may have convinced a judge to send you to a diversion program instead of jail, but such programs sometimes require mandatory notification of your employer or visits to your workplace. You may be able to skirt these requirements if you prove that your employer has a mandatory firing policy for the conviction of crimes. But if you’re forced to enter a guilty plea to enter a diversion program, and your employer discovers your conviction, you will probably be fired.

9. Loss of Job Opportunities

You may have noticed that most job applications ask if you’ve been convicted of a crime. Before you ask Google whether it’s safe to fib on an application, note that your DUI will appear in public records and your driver’s license records. If you lie and get caught, your employer will not be able to trust you and will most likely let you go. Honesty is the best policy. If at all possible, have a sit down with a prospective employer and explain what happened, focusing on the message that you made a mistake but now you are focusing on making better choices.

Finding Affordable DUI Car Insurance Online

If you have been convicted of DUI, you are most likely looking for a DUI solution to your new issues. Freeway Insurance can help you.

If your insurance company doubled your rates or kicked you to the curb, compare car insurance quotes online with Freeway to find the lowest possible rates. Or call our friendly, professional insurance agents at (800) 777-5620 who can help you find a policy that fits your budget. Or stop by in person for a friendly visit at one of our many locations.

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