You are about to interview for the dream job you have always wanted. In fact, you believe that you will be the top candidate, as you tell friends at a weekend party.

You drink a bit too much, and on your way home, a law enforcement officer stops you on suspicion of DUI. Will a conviction for drunk driving jeopardize that dream job? How will it affect your future?

First thoughts

The DUI charge represents your first-ever brush with the law; you have no prior arrests or convictions. You quickly discover that the state of Florida is serious about keeping drunk drivers off the road, so the penalties are harsh. You will pay a fine of between $500 and $2,000, the court will order you to participate in some form of community service and—worst of all, in your view—you will lose your driving privileges for six months to a year. You think about that dream job. Will they hire you? How will you even get to the interview if you do not have a driver’s license?

Employment complications

Most employers these days perform routine background checks on applicants. If the recruiter sees a DUI mark on your record, he or she may hire another candidate with a clean record, even though you may have better qualifications. Recruiters want candidates who appear trustworthy, and you may no longer fit that bill.

Professional certifications

Keep in mind that a DUI mark may also disqualify you from entering certain fields that require certification or state licensing. Examples include education, medicine and law.

Automobile insurance issues

To have your driving privileges reinstated, you will have to show proof of automobile insurance coverage. The problem here is that because of the DUI conviction, your current insurer may now regard you as a high-risk driver. The company may either cancel your policy or raise your rates significantly.

Seeking help

An arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol brings problems that can disrupt your future plans, starting with that important interview. Explore your legal options promptly, and seek professional help to achieve the best outcome possible for your case and get your life back on track.

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