Drivers in Hawaii know that it is illegal to get behind the wheel when they have had too much to drink. Driver’s education and public awareness efforts have made such information ubiquitous. However, driving under the influence (DUI) charges remain some of the most common criminal infractions in the state.
Police officers are quick to arrest those who appear to be under the influence on the road or after causing a crash. Prosecution for a DUI offense can lead to numerous penalties, fines, jail time and license suspension. For some individuals, one of the secondary consequences of a DUI conviction will be the loss of their job.
What are two of the most common reasons that someone loses their job because of a DUI conviction?
They miss too much work
A guilty plea or a conviction for a DUI offense might mean missing several days of work due to being in state custody. A first-time DUI offense could lead to between 48 hours and five days in state custody. A second offense with five years of the first will mean a five-day minimum sentence and up to 30 days in prison.
Beyond that, there may be mandatory treatment or education programs for a driver to complete and community service requirements that might lead to them missing work. Court proceedings can also cause missed work time and may lead to a worker losing their job.
They drive for work
If you have a commercial driver’s license (CDL), even a DUI in your own vehicle will cost you your professional license. Even if you only ever drive a personal vehicle for work, a suspension related to a DUI might mean that you can’t do your job for months. Your employer may choose not to accommodate you if you cannot fulfill job responsibilities because of a criminal conviction.
Some people could lose their jobs because their convictions will affect what their employer pays for insurance. Others will be victims of a company’s zero-tolerance policy for criminal convictions. Even if you don’t drive for your work at all, your employer may have included causes in your employment contract that allow them to terminate you after any criminal conviction.
Understanding how a DUI could affect your career might give you the motivation you need to fight back against those pending DUI charges.