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How a DUI can be the TNT that destroys your JOB

Last week we focused attention on the risks that a conviction for driving under the influence can present to the future prospects of an underage person in Tennessee. This week, we offer up a perspective on the effects that a DUI charge and conviction can have on an adult's career.

The insights, shared by an employment law expert, echo points we make regularly. But hopefully the change of source will reinforce why we say it's so important to confront DUI allegations assertively.

What follows is a high-level view that may not address the nuances of Tennessee law, so those actually facing drunk driving charges should seek an attorney's counsel.

In short, there are a number of ways a DUI on your record can hurt your work life.

  • Suspension of license: Without driving privileges you may be looking taking a cab, a bus or arranging for some other option. Costs can be prohibitive. If transportation is unreliable you could be late once too often and be out of work.
  • Company employment policy: A lot of employers have the rule that a criminal conviction warrants firing. Even if no such policy exists, excessive absences resulting from the need to deal with your legal case and possible penalties could wind up in job loss.
  • Insurance loss: If driving is part of your job a DUI conviction may give your employer no option but to fire you, especially if it is going to cost the company its insurance coverage. And a DUI conviction could stay on a commercial license record for years.
  • Applying for jobs: You might not be asked by an employer about whether you have a DUI on your record, but that doesn't necessarily mean the information can't cause problems. It is a matter of public record.

If you wind up being stopped for DUI, remember that no matter what happens you have rights and that among them is the right to an attorney. Exercising that right helps ensure all others will be protected.

Source: AOL Jobs, "9 Ways A DUI Will Destroy Your Career," Donna Ballman, Jan. 21, 2014

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