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DUIs: Affecting your ability to work

If you're threatened with a DUI charge, one thing you immediately think about is the risk of losing your job. No one wants to find out that a DUI violates a contract or makes the individual ineligible for a job he or she want, so it's important to get the right information ahead of time.

It's always going to be in your best interests to fight a DUI charge and try to get it eliminated or reduced. DUI charges stay on your background check and criminal record permanently in most cases. A DUI is among the most commonly found offense on background checks.

Will a DUI affect your right to work?

It depends on the employer and the job you want, for example, if you are applying for a job working as a driver. If you've only recently received a DUI conviction, then it's likely you'll be disqualified. If the position requires you to use your own vehicle or a company vehicle, that might also disqualify you from the job. No company wants to take on liability if it can help it.

Another thing an employer may look at is how often you've violated the law. Are you a serial offender of DUI laws? Do you have a history of DUI offenses along with other violations? The employer has to consider his or her safety, the safety of clients and employees and if you're important enough to the company to take on the risk. In most cases, employers will hire someone with a clean background before someone with a DUI for liability's sake.

Finally, the employer may look at what you've done since the DUI conviction. If you went to rehabilitation and AA meetings, took steps to rehabilitate yourself and are continuing to do so, the employer may be happier to bring you on board than if you did nothing to counteract the offense. Showing that you want to do better is always a benefit in the eyes of an employer.

There are some cases where you may lose your right to obtain licensing or could lose your ability to drive, hurting your ability to get to work or to do your job. In those cases, even if your employer is okay with you working there, you may struggle to meet attendance requirements.

A DUI is not good news for anyone, but with help, it's possible to prevent it from hitting your record. The right defense does matter and can help you keep or find a good job.

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