Police officers in Kentucky are constantly on the lookout for signs of intoxicated drivers. A police officer who sees someone swerving or otherwise driving in a strange and unpredictable manner may pull that person over to screen them for signs of alcohol intoxication.
Those who fail tests during traffic stops or after collisions may face arrest and criminal charges. To many people, a drunk driving charge is little more than an aggravated traffic ticket. It doesn’t seem nearly as serious as assault or a drug offense.
People frequently choose to plead guilty to drunk driving charges because they think that they can just pay their fine, serve their sentence and move on with their lives. However, they may have failed to consider the three very real consequences that a Kentucky drunk driving charge could have on their careers.
They could lose their jobs
Some people will lose their job as soon as they plead guilty to a criminal offense. Employers frequently have written policies regarding the behavior of their employees, including their conduct while not at work.
Companies that have rules against criminal convictions can potentially terminate someone as soon as the organization learns of a guilty plea. Even if your employer does not summarily terminate you after a conviction, a drunk driving charge will often have a chilling effect on your career development. Promotions, raises and new job offers may be much harder to achieve when you can no longer pass a background check.
They can lose professional licensing
Obviously, if you drive a commercial truck and get pulled over while drunk on the job, your commercial license could be at risk. Those with a commercial driver’s license could also lose their license for an infraction that occurs in their own vehicle, not at work.
You don’t have to drive for a living for a criminal conviction to cost you a professional license. Marriage therapists, private investigators, geologists and even metal recyclers require state licensing in Kentucky.
They may struggle to continue their education
Enrollment at institutions of higher education and in competitive certification programs sometimes requires a background check. Your criminal record might be the deciding factor that prevents you from enrolling at a local institution that offers a master’s degree that could drastically increase your earning potential. Even if you gain enrollment at a school, a criminal record will influence what financial aid you can obtain.
All of those issues, as well as the social stigma that comes from having a criminal record, can have a profound negative impact on your career advancement and income. Defending yourself against drunk driving charges will not just protect your freedom and your driver’s license but also your professional ambitions.