Anyone who gets stopped by police due to a suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI) could find themselves facing an arrest and then criminal charges. Drivers in South Carolina may think that their impaired-driving woes will end when they enter a guilty plea or finish paying off any fines associated with the offense, but the truth is that a DUI can haunt someone for many years.
One of the many ways a DUI can negatively affect you is by impacting your job or your future career prospects. There are three ways in particular that the DUI conviction or guilty plea could impact your professional life.
Your employer may have a policy about convictions
The more prestigious or high-paying your job, the more competition there is for people who want the position. Many companies that offer competitive pay in South Carolina have the ability to be picky about who they hire. Quite a few companies have strict policies against hiring anyone with a criminal conviction on their record.
If you already have a job, you might think this is a non-issue, but your employer may occasionally check your record, particularly during the process of considering you for a raise or promotion. Whether you disclose it or they discovered on their own, it is possible for your employer to end your position with the company if they learn about your DUI conviction.
Losing your license can affect your punctuality and job
If you drive for your job, losing your license could mean being unable to fulfill your obligations. Even if you don’t drive for a living, driving could occasionally be part of your work. For example, if you have to travel to another facility that your company owns or to clients’ offices to close sales or service equipment, losing your license could mean no longer doing so.
Your employer may no longer wish to have you drive on their time, even after you get your license back. Even if driving has nothing to do with the work that you perform, losing your license will potentially have an impact on your ability to get to work in a timely fashion.
Some people find themselves struggling to acclimate to the use of ride-hailing services like Uber. Others will attempt to use public transportation, which is notoriously unreliable. Even if you carpool or depend on loved ones, you may have trouble securing reliable transportation, which could result in repeated late arrivals to work and disciplinary action up to your termination.
Skilled professionals could lose their state licensing
Many educated professions require state licensing for someone to practice in South Carolina. Professionals ranging from accountants and teachers to dentists and physicians answer to a state board that sets both educational and ethical guidelines for professionals. Criminal convictions can often result in a licensing review and then the loss of your professional license.
These risks are why it is always important to do your best to defend yourself against pending DUI charges. In the event that you find yourself facing review for your professional licensing, you should also understand that you have a right to defend yourself in that situation.