Driving under the influence could have a negative effect on your employment prospects in any circumstances. If driving is your profession, the consequences can be even more severe.
You probably already have an idea of the negative impact DUI could have on your job if you drive for a living. However, you may not know exactly what the effects could be.
Blood alcohol limits may be lower
Depending on the type of professional driving you do, you may have to adhere to a stricter standard of sobriety than nonprofessional drivers. The blood alcohol limit for people holding a commercial driver’s license is 0.04% in Wisconsin. This applies even when you are driving your personal vehicle.
You may not necessarily lose your job
Your employer is within his or her rights to fire you from your position as a professional driver after a DUI conviction, even if the offense occurs when you are off-duty. Another option, however, is to transfer you to a different position that does not involve driving. This helps protect the employer from liability claims or increased insurance premiums related to your DUI.
DUI affects vehicles other than just cars and trucks
A conviction on charges of driving under the influence could affect your ability to operate other motor vehicles for work, not just cars and trucks. Your employer may also prevent you from operating boats and other watercraft or aircraft.
Loss of a personal license does not necessarily affect your commercial license
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration specifies offenses that disqualify you from driving commercially. If convicted of one of these offenses, you forfeit your commercial driving privileges regardless of whether or not you were working at the time. However, if you lose your personal license for a conviction on a different offense, it does not affect your commercial driver’s license.
In this instance, you may still be able to drive professionally, although it is up to your employer’s discretion.