NJ Legal Update: Drunken Driving Arrests, DWI Convictions can Hurt an Individual’s Career Prospects

Although a first-time DWI conviction may seem like a one-time event with little or no ramifications save some hefty court fees and other DWI-related penalties, the social and business implications of an arrest for driving while intoxicated, much a conviction can be significant. In fact, just like any legal issue, it’s best to consult with a qualified drunken driving defense attorney to better understand one’s options before heading to court.

Drunk driving, driving under the influence, drug DUI and other offenses are all serious charges that can effect an individual’s future job prospects and social standing; even their personal relationships and marital situation. As New Jersey DWI defense lawyers, the experienced legal team at my firm is well versed in the area of drunken driving defense. Our advice to anyone accused of DWI or drug DUI (prescription meds or illicit drugs like cocaine and marijuana): Do not take the event lightly and learn as much as you can about the process of a DWI case.

As mentioned previously in this forum, a conviction for driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs can have a long-term and severe effect on a person’s employment situation and their life in general. Needless to say, with the emphasis on curbing DWIs and DUIs across the country, as well as here in the Garden State, society, law enforcement agencies and the court system holds a very dim view of first-time DWI offenders, not to mention repeat offenders.

A recent news story brought this issue to the fore, as the head of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) was picked up by police following a traffic violation near the nation’s capital. According to news reports, FAA chief, Randy Babbitt, was observed by a police officer traveling on the opposite side of the road last Saturday around 10:30 at night.

Based on police reports, the officer saw a car driving on the wrong side of the road in a D.C. suburb before pulling the vehicle over. Apparently, the patrolman determined that Babbitt was likely intoxicated and arrested Babbitt on charges of drinking and driving. Back in Washington, following the news of his arrest, Babbitt was reportedly granted a leave of absence this past Monday by Department of Transportation (DOT) officials. However, the man’s future with the government agency turned today with the announcement of his resignation from his post at the FAA.

News articles indicate that Babbitt delayed notifying administration officials about his arrest until later on Monday afternoon, when a statement was released explaining that Babbitt requested a leave of absence due to the matter. Although a separate public announcement was made by the jurisdiction in which Babbitt was arrested, no mention was made as to the results of the blood-alcohol content (BAC) test administered to Babbitt over the weekend.

Secretary of Transportation, Ray LaHood is well-known for his aggressive campaigning against drunk driving, and his work with police departments in an effort to crackdown on drinking and driving during the holidays. Although Babbitt has not even been convicted of any offense as of yet, there is no doubt that this situation put his superiors in a difficult position and quickly resulted in his leaving the FAA.

FAA Chief on Leave After Drunken Driving Arrest, ABCNews.com, December 6, 2011