In today’s competitive job market, maintaining a clean record is incredibly important. A conviction for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) is something that can make finding a job even more difficult.
In this article, we’ll look at the impact a DUI/OWI charge can have on your professional life— from hindering career advancement to tarnishing your professional reputation — we aim to provide a better understanding of these consequences and underscore the importance of responsible behavior on the road.
- Loss of Current Employment
- Difficulty Finding New Employment
- Negative Impact on Professional Reputation
- Difficulty Obtaining Loans or Housing
- Potential for Professional License Revocation
- Difficulty Advancing in Career
- How The Right Lawyer Can Help
1. Loss of Current Employment
In Wisconsin, the impact of a DUI/OWI conviction on your employment status can vary. If your employment contract or company handbook lists criminal or OWI convictions as grounds for dismissal, you could lose your job.
You are also at risk for losing your job if it involves driving, such as a delivery driver or truck driver, because the DUI is substantially related to the job. Especially considering a DUI/OWI conviction can impact your license.
2. Difficulty Finding New Employment
A DUI/OWI on your record can significantly narrow the pool of potential employers willing to hire, as many employers don’t want to hire someone with a criminal record.
Many states and cities however have adopted the “Ban the Box” initiative, which removes the check box on job applications asking applicants about criminal records. The goal of “Ban the Box” laws is to prevent employers from immediately disqualifying applicants based on their criminal history, allowing them to first evaluate the candidate’s qualifications for the job.
Wisconsin is not a statewide “Ban the Box” state, but certain counties and cities within the state have enacted their own “Ban the Box” laws, including Dane and Milwaukee County. However, it does not apply if criminal charges are substantially related to your employment – like bus drivers and mail carriers.
3. Negative Impact on Professional Reputation
A DUI can significantly harm your reputation at work and in your field. Some companies will view a DUI as tarnishing the company or brand’s reputation as well.
Even though the stigma attached to a DUI/OWI charge can be damaging, it’s important to note that the consequences can vary depending on the nature of one’s work, the company’s policies, and the specific circumstances surrounding your case.
4. Difficulty Obtaining Loans or Housing
A DUI/OWI charge can also have indirect consequences on your ability to obtain loans or housing. Lenders and landlords often conduct background checks, and a DUI/OWI conviction can raise red flags about an applicant’s reliability and financial stability. Additionally, stable employment is a critical factor in securing a mortgage, and an OWI charge can impact the state of your employment.
5. Potential for Professional License Revocation
The potential for professional license revocation is another significant consequence to consider. Certain professions require licenses to practice like medicine, law, teaching, and commercial driving. A DUI conviction can lead to the removal of these professional licenses and accreditations.
6. Difficulty Advancing in Career
There are a few reasons a DUI or OWI can make it difficult to advance in your career. First, this type of charge can lead to a loss of self-confidence and increase self-doubt, potentially causing you to hesitate when pursuing new opportunities or promotions. A DUI is a substantial hurdle and may make it more difficult for you to move past this setback and focus on career growth.
Additionally, employers might be reluctant to promote someone with a DUI/OWI on their record out of concern for the company’s reputation or potential liability issues. This can result in limited opportunities for advancement as well.
7. How The Right Lawyer Can Help
An OWI can have significant and far-reaching consequences on your employment and career opportunities. Beyond the immediate legal repercussions, it can lead to job loss, hinder career advancement, and limit future job prospects.
While laws like “Ban the Box” and certain protections against conviction-based discrimination offer some degree of fairness in the hiring process, a DUI/OWI conviction remains a serious deterrent in today’s competitive job market.
The best way to avoid these professional repercussions is to not drink and drive. If you do find yourself navigating a DUI or OWI charge in Wisconsin, then hiring a Milwaukee OWI lawyer will help you reach the best possible outcome of your case and professional future.
Having Fenton Law Office on your side means that your rights will be protected. We fight for you every step of the way. Call us today for a free consultation and let us represent you in your DUI/OWI case. Your future is worth fighting for.
By Attorney Jay Fenton, Owner of Fenton Law Office
Jay Fenton is a top-rated criminal defense attorney in Milwaukee who goes above and beyond for his clients. He has successfully secured favorable outcomes in countless cases, from negotiating plea agreements to filing pre-trial motions and managing complex appeals. Attorney Fenton also has had tremendous success achieving not-guilty verdicts at trial. His dedication and aggressiveness make him one of the best attorneys around.