The days of staying with one employer until retirement are long gone. Most Americans change jobs many times during their lives, often trying to move up as they do so. This means going through the tedious process of applying for positions and interviewing.
However, if you were recently charged with drunk driving, your chances of landing a job may have gotten smaller. While you may think a DWI is nothing serious, some employers take drunk driving convictions very seriously.
The stakes are high
If you get through a job interview and the subject doesn’t come up, your potential employer will still likely do a background check on you. Finding a DWI on your record, even a first-offense misdemeanor, may change everything, even if you are an otherwise excellent candidate.
While federal law does protect people with criminal convictions from discrimination in the marketplace, some employers may not have the luxury of overlooking your DWI, especially in the following situations:
- The job involves driving a commercial vehicle, such as a bus or cab, delivery or logistics.
- Your position requires the use of a company vehicle.
- You work for a government agency.
- The position includes high finance, securities or sensitive information.
- You will be working with children.
In some situations, your contrition and evidence of reform may be enough to convince an employer that the conviction was for a one-time offense. In other circumstances, a potential employer may see any criminal history as a risk they wish not to take.
What to do next
Even if you are not seeking a new job, a DWI may complicate your current employment situation. Drunk driving convictions in Texas carry potential administrative penalties that include license suspension. If your driving privileges are suspended, you may be forced to find alternative rides to work. Public transportation may not be practical if you commute a long distance to work.
Of course, you know that the best way to avoid these consequences is to refrain from drinking and driving. But if you are already facing charges and administrative penalties, you have no time to lose in securing the legal assistance that may help you minimize the repercussions of a DWI arrest.