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Possible Lost Job Opportunities After DUI

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Convictions for DUI are notorious for draining offenders’ bank accounts, given the court costs, fines, and other expenses, such as DUI school, that go with it. However, there are other consequences to consider, such as the possibility of long-term unemployment and lost job opportunities after DUI. You may ask the question “how do employers find out about DUI“, but more importantly is keeping the DUI off your record in the first place.

For those with driving-based occupations, such as Uber or Lyft driving, they may be unable to continue those jobs. Other jobs could be out of offenders’ reach due to a DUI conviction—from commercial drivers to anything involving a professional license, such as physician, dentist, etc. In case anyone ever needed further motivation to never drink and drive, losing out on these job opportunities would be another reason to stay sober behind the wheel.

Uber or Lyft Driver 

Uber, which doesn’t even consider hiring people whose records show they have had a DUI conviction in the past ten years, checks its drivers’ backgrounds every 1.5 to two years. Once it sees one of their drivers has a fresh DUI on record, they’re likely out of that job though it may be possible to delay the termination for a bit.

Lyft’s DUI policy is slightly less strict, possibly approving DUI offenders if it’s been over seven years since their conviction—assuming there are no other red flags on their record. However, as with Uber, Lyft does background check every year on their current drivers and will find any new convictions.

Commercial Drivers Lost Opportunities From DUI

For those who hold commercial driver’s licenses (CDL)—allowing them to drive big rigs, school vans, or city buses—it’s much easier to lose a job after a DUI. While noncommercial drivers can be charged with DUI when their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08 percent or more, commercial drivers have a BAC limit of 0.04 percent.

Regardless if CDL holders were driving their personal or commercial vehicle during their free time or while on the clock, they will be charged with DUI if their BAC is over 0.04 percent. If convicted, they lose their CDL automatically for one year. CDL holders can reapply after their suspension, but another conviction will cause them to lose their CDL permanently.

Professional Licensees Can Also Be Affected After DUI

For nurses, dentists, physicians, pharmacists, or any other profession requiring a license, they might not lose their license automatically upon getting a DUI, but their livelihood could still be at risk. This can all depend on the board issuing the license, its policies, and the arrest’s circumstances.

One example, the California Business and Professional Code, which regulates licensed professionals’ behavior, says “a board may suspend or revoke a license on the grounds that the licensee has been convicted of a crime, if the crime is substantially related to the qualifications, functions, or duties of the profession for which the licensee’s license was issued.”

This can lead to a lot of variety in how boards handle DUI offenders. For instance, California’s medical board has suspended physicians’ licenses after only one DUI incident, arguing the arrest demonstrates a behavior pattern that can impact patient safety. In making a determination, the DUI incident’s severity – property damage, fatality, etc. – may be considered as well as the physician’s past record, looking for any sign there was an ongoing drinking.

Even when these professionals survive their license hearing, they can be drained by the process—emotionally and financially. Licensees have to show compliance with court-mandated requirements, which can include home detention, therapy sessions, and driving school, as well as finding character witnesses all in the hope of receiving a reprimand rather than a revoked medical license.

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