Punishment for drink driving offences varies depending on how far over the limit you were proved to have been at the time of offence. A disqualification from driving, community penalty, fine or even imprisonment can be imposed on sentencing.
Drink driving and your career
Being found guilty of drink driving could have a significant impact on your chances of future employment. Every employer is entitled to carry out background checks on any candidate they wish to hire in order to establish whether the person in question has a criminal record that has not become spent. For some jobs it’s a legal requirement that the employer carries out background and can find out about your criminal convictions even when they would normally be considered spent.
If an organisation uncovers any convictions, they are allowed to use this as a legitimate reason as to why they don’t wish to take you on. However, you do not have to disclose any spent convictions to any prospective employer unless the role is one that is “exempt” under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act. If the role is an “exempt” one, then you are obliged to declare your convictions to a prospective employer even when they have become spent.
The exempt roles include:
• Those working with children and other vulnerable groups, such as teachers and social workers, Those working in professions associated with the justice system, such as solicitor, police, court clerk, probation officer, prison officer and traffic warden
• Doctors, dentists, chemists, nurses or Paramedics
• Managers of unit trusts
• Anyone applying to work as an officer of the Crown
• Employees of the RSPCA or SSPCA whose duties extend to the humane killing of animals
• Any employment or other work normally carried out in bail hostels or probation hostels
• Certain officials and employees from government and public authorities with access to sensitive or personal information or official databases about children or vulnerable adults
• Any office or employment concerned with providing health services which would normally enable access to recipients of those health services
• Officers and other persons who execute various court orders
• Anyone who as part of their occupation occupies premises where explosives are kept under a police certificate
• Contractors who carry out various kinds of work in tribunal and court buildings
• Certain company directorships, such as those for banks, building societies and insurance companies
• Certain civil service positions are excluded from the act, such as employment with the Civil Aviation Authority and the UK Atomic Energy Authority.
• Taxi drivers and other transport workers. This also includes Stewardesses, pilots and anyone working in the secure zone of an airport
Withholding information on any convictions you may have is not advised, as if they are discovered at a later date it is extremely likely that you will be fired and in some cases be charged with committing another offence such as deception. So it’s important to let your employer know once you have been offered the or at the stage when details of any previous convictions are requested.
If you already have a conviction
If an interviewer questions you about your criminal record, the best way to approach it is by being honest but also stating how you have learnt from the situation. Turn the incident into a positive experience by expressing how it has taught you discipline and the appreciation of authority. You could also use any experience you may have had during your incarceration to further your chances of seeming suitable for the job in question.
You could possibly let employers know about the Work Opportunity Tax Credit, which would financially benefit their company. Inform them that they could be eligible to receive a sum of money for employing people like yourself, who have previously found it difficult to find employment due to past criminal activities.
If you are worried about obtaining a job as you already have conviction, seek support from non-profit agencies that specialise in helping ex-offenders. Your local church or other charitable places could also provide advice on finding ex-offender friendly companies to increase your chances of employability.
Holding onto your driving licence
In many cases, a drink driving offence will cause you to lose your licence. This can really hinder your chances of getting hired and even rule out applying for employment opportunities in remote areas where public transport is minimal or non-existent. If you’re faced with the prospect of using your licence it’s highly recommended that you seek advice and support from a driving offence solicitor who can help you to keep hold of your licence and reduce the likelihood of having a criminal record.
Here at Just Motor Law we understand the possible effects a drink driving conviction can have on your career. We have specialist knowledge and extensive experience of helping those who believe they’re wrongly convicted of drink driving as well as helping drivers contest driving disqualifications. We can help you assemble a strong case using Special Reasons and Exceptional Hardship arguments in order to maintain possession of your driving licence, something which is incredibly important to the future of your career. You can contact us by telephone on 0845 4851226, use our online chat function or online contact form.