As Costly as DWI Convictions are, the Professional Consequences Could be Just as Serious

While some might say that a single DWI or drug DUI conviction could hardly influence the course of a person’s entire life, it certainly isn’t out of the ordinary to find that a one-time drunk driving arrest and conviction has, to some extent, impacted some aspect of an individual’s personal or work life for the worse. Besides the damage that a DWI or DUI conviction can inflict on one’s private life or personal relationships, people have been known to lose their jobs over a single drunk driving conviction. Similarly, entire careers have been negatively affected, if not completely ruined, because of the results of a drunk driving conviction.

As New Jersey DWI defense lawyers, my colleagues and I are firmly dedicated to representing those who have been accused of driving while intoxicated, operating a motor vehicle while impaired by doctor-prescribed medications (also known as drug DUI), and even people who have been arrested for the simple act of possessing marijuana or other controlled dangerous substance (CDS) in their car or truck. It may seem difficult for many to believe the wide-ranging effect that a single DUI or multiple DWI convictions can have on any one person, but the results are there to be seen on a regular basis.

When it comes to the deleterious effects of a DWI arrest and conviction, some individuals may certainly seem luckier than others. Of the unlucky ones — those who typically have the most to lose — certainly those professional truckers and other commercial vehicle drivers who make a living by operating motor vehicles for pay are at great risk. And while there are people who hardly need a driver’s license to survive I this world, there are others who have found that making a living after a DWI conviction can be just a bit more difficult.

Sometimes, it is the sports and entertainment personalities who end up with a black eye after a bad alcohol- or drug-related traffic accident. But it may also be those who are perceived to have flouted the public’s trust by behaving in a contrary way. Depending on the type of offense, some of the people whose careers may hang in the balance following a drunken driving arrest include government officials, police officers, judges, school teachers and administrators, and others who may be looked up to.

For these kinds of individuals, a drunk driving arrest, not to mention an actual conviction, can have a fast-acting and sometimes devastating effect on their employment status. All the more reason why individuals who find themselves charged with an offense as serious as driving under the influence of alcohol, prescription medications, or an illegal substance should consult with a qualified DWI attorney before stepping foot into a courtroom. Considering the immediate and long-term consequences, the possibility of a conviction is nothing to ignore.

A while back, we ran across a news article detailing the results of a DWI arrest on the Brooklyn Nets new coach, Jason Kidd, who was suspended for two games following a drunken driving arrest. The result of the suspension meant that Kidd’s debut as Nets coach would have to be delayed until the third game of the season; an embarrassment at the very least.

According to news reports, Mr. Kidd was charged with a driving under the influence of alcohol during the summer of 2012 after police responded to a single-vehicle traffic accident in the Hamptons. Playing for the New York Knicks at the time of the crash, Kidd only recently pled guilty to a DWI misdemeanor charge from that year-old accident and was placed on probation for one year. As part of his plea deal, Kidd also agreed to speak in front of Long Island students regarding the inherent dangers of driving under the influence.

Because the plea deal came much later than the accident, instead of Kidd possibly missing out on two games as a player for the Knicks, he ended up taking a hit to his schedule as a coach. This all came about after almost 20 seasons as a professional basketball star and the Number Two player on the NBA’s all-time assist list.

As a result of the delayed plea, according to news articles, the NBA suspended Kidd as the Brooklyn Nets’ coach for those first two games of the season. Nobody was apparently surprised at the actual suspension, and similarly the two-game penalty. It was stated that this was a typical punishment exacted by the NBA for any similar offense.

Nets coach Jason Kidd suspended for 2 games for DWI, NewarkAdvocate.com, October 4, 2013