What does a DWI conviction mean for your professional licensing?

| Apr 22, 2021 | Criminal Law |

State licensing for professionals helps protect the public from incompetent professionals and fraudulent misrepresentation of someone’s skills, education or professional background. Professionals in fields ranging from nursing to accounting need to retain a license to work in their chosen career.

Depending on the profession, professional licensing typically requires specialized education, standardized testing and a background check. Continuing education is also a requirement in many cases. Licensing authorities help set minimum standards for their industry and also provide recourse for those hurt or defrauded by professionals in a particular industry.

There are benefits and risks to working in a licensed profession

Getting into a career where you need state licensing to work means more investment initially to start your career. It also means needing to continually meet the standards set for your industry. If you do, you can expect more competitive wages as a licensed professional in a regulated industry.

Unfortunately, the downside of professional licensing is that you can lose it and your income. Sometimes, situations that happen outside of work can have a dire impact on your professional future. What does a drunk driving arrest mean for your professional license?

If you drive for a living, a traffic offense could be a major hurdle

Those who drive school buses or haul products and raw materials in massive commercial trucks need specialized licenses to do so. A drunk driving arrest typically results in the immediate suspension of your driver’s license, followed by a court-ordered suspension that occurs after your conviction.

Those charged with impaired driving will find that the offense affects not only their personal driver’s license but also their professional one. Infractions that take place in your own vehicle and on your own time can still cost you your commercial driver’s license.

Other licensing authorities may penalize you as well

Whether you work in construction or the medical field, the licensing board in your field may have strict policies regarding criminal convictions. If someone reports your arrest or conviction to the licensing board, they may summon you for a disciplinary hearing or possibly suspend your license. Even if no one reports you, you may wind up failing a background check the next time you need to renew your professional license.

Any professionals facing allegations of drunk driving need to think about the possible long-term implications such charges may have on their career, including licensing consequences.