Honest, Compassionate And Aggressive Representation
  1. Home
  2.  — 
  3. Criminal Cases & DUI
  4.  — How can a DUI affect your professional license?

How can a DUI affect your professional license?

On Behalf of | Nov 28, 2023 | Criminal Cases & DUI

You probably already know that a conviction on DUI charges can pose a serious threat to your driving privileges. What many people have not considered is that a DUI conviction can also threaten their careers.

Commercial drivers

Even a first-time conviction on DUI charges can result in having one’s driver’s license revoked for a year. This can threaten the livelihood of anyone who needs to drive to work unless they can find some other way of getting to their place of employment on time. For those whose jobs require them to drive, it can be a career-killer.

Safety standards for commercial drivers are more serious than for others. For one thing, where the so-called legal limit for most drivers in Tennessee is 0.08%, it’s half that for drivers who carry a commercial driver’s license, or CDL. This means that a CDL holder who is found to have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.04% or more when behind the wheel is considered intoxicated per se.

For another thing, anyone who has a CDL must report any conviction to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration within 10 days. They must report any conviction to the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security within 30 days.

CDL holders who are convicted of DUI can lose their CDL for a year even if they were driving their personal vehicle when they were arrested. They can also face several other special requirements and penalties related to intoxication.

What’s more, many employers do thorough background checks for commercial drivers. Some impose requirements that they will not hire anyone with a DUI conviction even if it was several years in the past.

Other professions

Many other professions have reporting requirements and background checks that can damage a person’s career after they have been convicted of DUI offenses. These include not only those such as pilots who use motor vehicles in the work, but also law enforcement personnel, attorneys, medical professionals, teachers and more.

In many ways, these professions are self-governing, and their licensing boards have their own requirements. In other words, the professional penalties faced by a person convicted of DUI may not stem from the court, but rather from the standards of their profession. Still, the consequences can be disastrous for a person’s career.

When you consider these professional consequences, you can see that there is a lot on the line whenever you face DUI charges: your freedom, your driving privileges, your career and your future.