Impact of a DUI Arrest on My Life

A person arrested for a DUI faces a number of potential consequences, among these consequences, one of the most serious can be that on employment. A DUI arrest in DC can not only impact an individual’s current job but potentially impact all future job prospects as well. For this reason, it is imperative those arrested for DUI fight the offense as strongly as possible and are aware of the potential consequences that a conviction, or potentially even an arrest, can have.

Effect on Current Employment

There are some jobs in which a first offense DUI arrest has minimal impact. Some employers consider the fact that a person has been arrested only once for a DUI as a minor issue. Many people are arrested for DUIs in DC and may even be convicted for DUIs. Therefore a DUI record or conviction does not necessarily result in a person being denied any job they want later on in life.

With that said, there are some jobs that could be significantly affected as a result of a DUI arrest. That includes jobs where a person is required to have a government security clearance. If they work for a government agency or a government contractor, they may be required to pass certain government security clearances to be able to get those jobs. Potentially, they could be denied security clearances for any criminal convictions, even misdemeanor criminal convictions such as a DC DUI. There are other types of jobs, such as those that require professional licensing or jobs in law enforcement, that require a person has absolutely no criminal history. A DC DUI conviction as a misdemeanor could possibly result in a person being denied the ability to get or keep those jobs.

Background Checks

Many employers run only very limited background checks on their employees. There are several employers that only look for felony convictions on a person’s record or only look for criminal cases that could affect an employee’s ability to do their job. For that reason, many employers may not consider a DUI arrest or DUI conviction as a reason to terminate a person’s job. This is especially true when the person was arrested and charged with a first offense DUI. Some employers run regular background checks or require an employee to provide information of arrest immediately upon the event of that arrest. When a person has a government security clearance as a requirement for their job, those security clearances often require employees to report any arrest within a certain amount of time.

Even if a person has not yet been charged or convicted of a crime, the arrest alone imposes a requirement for people with government security clearances to report that arrest and update their employer about any changes in their case.

It is very important for a person with a security clearance or any other job that requires immediate reporting of an arrest, to understand the time frame in which they are required to report that arrest. They should discuss with their lawyer whether they are required to report their arrest under the circumstances of their employment.

Gaining Out-of-State License

A DUI arrest may have serious consequences for a person’s ability to be able to drive. That includes their ability to drive in their home state where they are licensed and their ability to switch their license to another state.

A DUI case in Washington, DC could result in the suspension of a person’s driving privileges in Washington, DC, and may also result in a hold being imposed on their driving privileges in other states. That prevents a person from renewing an out-of-state license or applying for a driver’s license in a different state. They may not be able to renew their out-of-state license or apply to get a driver’s license in another state until that hold is lifted.

Impact on Insurance

A person arrested for driving under the influence could face increased insurance premiums or the possibility of having their insurance dropped altogether.

When a person is arrested for a DUI, the courts do not necessarily notify insurance companies of the DUI arrest. The insurance companies instead find out about DUI cases through a person’s DMV record. If a person faces the administrative suspension of their driving privileges as a result of a criminal DUI charge, an insurance company is notified by the DMV or through a random DMV record check to find the administrative suspension of the person’s license. This could result in a person’s insurance premiums being raised or the termination of the policy.

Traveling Out of State

When a person is not from Washington, DC, and is charged with a DUI in Washington, DC, there are usually no limitations as far as where a person is allowed to go or travel. In the situation where a person faces pending charges, they have the freedom to visit other states or leave the country and return, unless their judge has specifically restricted their movement as a condition of their pretrial release.

However, a person should be aware of their limitations regarding where they are permitted to drive. For example, when a person is a resident of Maryland with a Maryland driver’s license, the District of Columbia could suspend the person’s ability to drive within the District. A person should discuss with their lawyer what impact that has on their ability to drive inside and outside the District.

If a person is not from the United States and is arrested for driving under the influence while traveling in Washington, DC, that person is allowed to return to their home country and return back to the United States for any pending court cases.

But if a person has a visa or has some other kind of immigration status, that person needs to discuss with an immigration lawyer what consequences, if any, a conviction has on their ability to remain in the United States and maintain their present immigration status.

How a Lawyer Can Help

When a person is arrested for a DUI, they should discuss with their DUI lawyer their employment; what kind of licensing the job requires; and any security clearances they have. A DUI lawyer can discuss what their reporting requirements are and in what situations they are required to report their arrest to their employer.

In many situations, a person must read their employment contract or security clearance information to determine if they have an obligation to report any arrest. However, there are certain circumstances where a DUI lawyer can advise them about their obligations. These might include jobs that require a commercial driver’s license.