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DWI convictions and your career

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9 Manners In Which a DWI Can Negatively Affect Your Career

If you are like many other New Hampshire residents, you may have seen the recent news story about a police officer who was fired for driving while intoxicated. Should you be arrested for a DWI, the consequences you face extend far beyond just jail time. What most people do not realize is that a DWI can have a devastating effect upon their career.

Here are 9 different ways in which a DWI can damage or destroy your career:

1.      Suspended Driver’s License. If your driver’s license is suspended and you cannot obtain a hardship license (which are currently unavailable in the state of New Hampshire) to transport yourself to and from work, then you are left with the options of using public transportation, taking a taxi, hiring a private driver, or relying upon friends and family to transport you where you need to go. However, not all of these options are available to everyone, and if you miss too much work or are frequently tardy, then you could lose your job. Furthermore, if your place of employment requires you to drive, then you are out of luck.


2.      Mandatory Firings. A considerable percentage of employers state in employment contracts and handbooks that being convicted of a crime is grounds to be fired from your place of employment. If your employer has enacted this specific policy, then you could lose your job if you are convicted of a DWI. Most employers require their employees to notify them immediately if they are arrested for a crime.


3.      Loss of Insurance Coverage. If you career requires you to drive frequently, and even if you do manage to retain your driver’s license, your insurance provider may not offer coverage for individuals who have DWIs on their records. If you are covered by an insurance firm for operating heavy equipment or driving an automobile, your employer could potentially lose their coverage if they continue to employ you. In this scenario, your employer will have no other option but to fire you. Even if you do retain your employment and your insurance coverage, insurance premiums are going to become considerably more expensive with a DWI on your record. Your employer may decide that continuing to employ you is not worth the additional expense.


4.      Diversion Programs. If you are fortunate enough to qualify for a diversion program that enables you to avoid spending time in jail, you will still be subjected to mandatory notification of your employer and could even require visits to your place of employment. Depending upon the specific jurisdiction you’re located in, a guilty plea may be required in order for you to enter a diversion program. If your employer discovers your conviction, you will more than likely lose your job.


5.      Professional Licensures. There are many different careers, such as plumbers, doctors, nurses, and lawyers, which require any arrest to be immediately disclosed to the appropriate licensing agency. Depending upon the specific agency and state, it could affect your professional license. If you lose your license, you lose your job.


6.      Missing Work. There is a very real possibility that you will be required to miss a fair amount of work for court appearances and possibly mandatory alcohol treatment. There could also be mandatory jail time. In addition to possibly being penalized for excessive absenteeism, there is also the embarrassment of explaining your absences to others that you must contend with.


7.      Job Applications. Most employers are going to inquire about arrests and convictions when you are applying to a new place of employment. Having a DWI on your record could significantly affect your chances of being hired. In addition to appearing on your driver’s license record, a DWI conviction is also going to appear on public records.


8.      Education. Many universities and colleges inquire if applicants have any criminal convictions on their record. In a similar fashion, applications for financial aid could be affected by a DWI conviction. In order to avoid risking losing out altogether, you may be required to prove that you have completed a treatment program.


9.      Commercial Drivers’ Licenses. For commercial drivers, a DWI conviction will remain on their record for approximately 55 years, and it is not uncommon for DWI convictions to spell the end of a commercial driver’s career.


It is simple to see that there is a lot at risk when it comes to a DWI conviction. If you were to be fired from your place of employment, particularly in today’s struggling economy, it can negatively impact your ability to support yourself and your family. Of course, the best advice you can follow is not to drink and drive at all. For example, the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration maintain a list on their website of sober ride services available in each of the 50 states, including New Hampshire. However, we understand that people do make mistakes.

Should you be arrested for a DWI in New Hampshire, your first step should be to immediately contact an experienced and skilled New Hampshire DWI lawyer. If your DWI attorney cannot avoid a conviction altogether in your case, then, at a very minimum, he or she can work to minimize the impact that a conviction has upon your career. This is where our experienced NH DWI lawyers can step in to offer their assistance.

With decades of combined experienced among us, we are well-versed in each aspect of New Hampshire DWI law and will work diligently to achieve the best possible outcome in your case and to ensure that your legal rights are protected. Your initial consultation is free, so please contact us today. You’ve worked hard to establish yourself in your career, so protect it with nothing less than the best in legal representation.



Disclaimer: Past results do not guarantee a future outcome. Results include cases in both Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Attorney Dan Hynes is admitted to practice law only in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. This website may be considered advertising. Contacting us does not create an attorney/client relationship and the information on this site is not legal advice and may be inaccurate or not applicable to your case. Each case is different.

Mailing Address: Dan Hynes PO BOX 598 Merrimack, NH 03054