Despite frequent warnings from traffic safety advocates and police agencies all across the country regarding the dangers of drunken driving and the negative effects that a drinking and driving conviction can have on one’s personal and professional life, tens of thousands of motorists are arrested for DUI-DWI every month in the United States. Amazingly, almost one-third of all drunk driving arrests involve a repeat offense; based on this fact alone, it is certain that many American drivers, including motorists from the Garden State, are treading on dangerous ground when it comes to suffering not only physical injury, but also collateral effects on one’s career and livelihood.
Surprisingly, some may say, is that the overwhelming majority of DWI-DUI arrests entail a motorist being stopped returning from a likely pleasant outing with friends, family or coworkers. With the number of people participating in these kinds of social events, the odds of having at least one sober individual who could drive an intoxicated individual home is probably quite high. Yet, week after week, hundreds of New Jersey drivers are hit with summonses for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.
It is perhaps wise to remind readers that even one drunk driving conviction can have a devastating impact on a person’s ability to get to work, or even cause problems for an individual as far as maintaining one’s job. These days, with an already tight job market, does it really makes sense to risk losing one’s job because of having a drink or two with friends? For anyone who questions the potential consequences of a DWI conviction, we have some sobering thoughts on the subject.
Loss of Driving Privileges
One of the big problems that a drunk driving arrest and subsequent conviction can present to almost everyone caught driving while intoxicated is the very real threat of a suspended driver’s license. Losing one’s right to drive for several months can make getting to work much more difficult, or at the very least inconvenient.
In New Jersey there is no such thing as getting a limited-use driver’s license for work purposes, which means that a license suspension can spell the loss of independence and the reliance on friends, family or public transportation to get around. Aside from inconveniencing others, the use of public transport can present its own difficulties. Buses, for example, are notoriously unreliable for maintaining their schedules and can end up making a person late for work, which in turn can cause tardiness issues and possible dismissal.
Furthermore, if one’s job entails actual operation of a motor vehicle, then the odds of being fired, demoted, passed over, or transferred to a lesser position may increase significantly following a DWI-DUI conviction. Anyone in this kind of a situation should seriously consider speaking with a qualified drunken driving defense attorney before stepping foot into a courtroom.
Possible Termination of Employment
As we mentioned above, it is not beyond the realm of possibility for a person to be let go from his or her job following a conviction for drinking and driving. In fact, some companies actually have clauses in their employee handbooks or employment contracts that specifically state a DWI or drug DUI conviction is grounds for firing. Fortunately, here in New Jersey, DWI-DUI is not a crime, but the danger still remains depending on the rules and employment policies of specific companies. Naturally, if you believe you have lost your job due to a drunk driving arrest or conviction, it may be prudent to contact an employment lawyer.
While the best way to avoid trouble on the road is simply not to drink and drive, this same advice may often be good for retaining one’s employment. If my team of skilled drunk driving attorneys has learned anything from our many decades of collective legal experience, it could be the fact that getting a ride from a friend or colleague, hailing a cab, or riding the bus may possibly save your life and your job. If you find yourself in the unenviable position of having to defend yourself against an undeserved DWI or DUI charge, call a competent New Jersey DWI lawyer for some advice.