September 18, 2022 By Matthew Wallin

While most people realize that driving under the influence (DUI) carries consequences such as fines and jail time, many may not realize the broader effects that a DUI can have on employment and one’s general quality of life. Even a single misdemeanor DUI can jeopardize a person’s career, as convictions can lead to job termination or the suspension of a professional license. 

How Does a DUI Affect Employment? 

Rideshare Drivers 

Generally, rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft do not allow people to become ride-share drivers if they have a DUI conviction from within the past 10 years. This is because the state of California maintains DUI records for 10 years. After the decade-long period has passed, DUI charges will no longer be counted against you. 

However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you will be able to drive for a ride-sharing company after 10 years. Even if your conviction was over a decade ago, both Uber and Lyft have policies against hiring convicted felons. If your DUI was charged as a felony, you may be prevented from ever working for a ride-share company regardless of how long ago the offense occurred. 

Commercial Drivers 

Those who require a commercial license for their job, such as delivery truck drivers or bus drivers, will likely face termination or suspension if they are convicted of a DUI. California law requires a one-year minimum suspension of a commercial driver’s license after a DUI conviction. For a second conviction, you may lose your commercial license for life. Even if you were not operating a commercial vehicle at the time of your DUI arrest, it is important to understand that the license suspension occurs due to the conviction, not the arrest. 

Although you may be able to drive your own non-commercial vehicle under a restricted license, you will not be able to obtain a license that allows you to work as a driver. Additionally, even after your suspension ends, a commercial DUI on your record will make it very difficult to find employment as a driver. In these situations, your best option is to contact an experienced DUI defense attorney to get your charges lowered to “dry reckless,” which does not result in the suspension of your commercial driver’s license. 

Professional Licenses 

Under some circumstances, your professional license may be suspended or revoked if you are convicted of a DUI. Some jobs that require professional licenses include physicians, nurses, and real estate agents. When a professional is convicted of a DUI, he or she may be subject to professional discipline, including sanctions or probation. However, if the professional has shown a pattern of drug or alcohol abuse, the licensing board may opt for license suspension or even revocation. 

Can Employers Deny You a Job Due to a DUI? 

Because DUI convictions are public record, employers will be able to access details about these incidents through a background check. Most companies will perform some sort of background check on potential hires, and many job applications include questions about a candidate’s criminal history. Unfortunately, employers can take a DUI into account when deciding whether to hire you. 

The good news is that most employers won’t deny you a job purely based on one DUI. Expunging your DUI may also help. Expungement means that the court will retroactively seal or destroy the records of your criminal conviction. Usually, this process allows you to apply for jobs without the DUI showing up on your record. However, the DUI will remain on your DMV driving record, so ride-sharing companies, for example, will still see the DUI and may take it into consideration when deciding whether to hire you. 

Contact Wallin & Klarich Today 

If you have been arrested for a DUI, contact Wallin & Klarich as soon as possible to see how we can help. With 40+ years of experience, Wallin & Klarich is your best choice amongst Southern California criminal defense firms. Our attorneys have helped thousands of clients defend against DUIs, and we have the skills and resources to help you avoid disqualification from any form of employment you may wish to seek in the future. 

With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Victorville, Torrance, West Covina, Los Angeles, and San Diego, you are sure to find an available and convenient attorney near you. Discover how our team can assist you. Contact us today, toll-free at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free consultation with a skilled defense attorney.

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