How negatively can a DUI conviction impact your life?

With the fall semester off to a rousing start at Missouri’s colleges and universities, it is time for football games, fraternity and sorority parties, and all the other extracurricular activities inherent in campus life. Many of these activities include drinking, especially beer. Before you overindulge and possibly find yourself facing DUI charges, consider the many ways in which a DUI conviction could negatively impact your life for years to come.

One of the main reasons you seek a college degree is to obtain the necessary education to enable you to become employed in the field of your choice. As FindLaw explains, however, virtually all employers conduct background checks of their prospective employees, and a DUI conviction could substantially curtail the types of employment you can obtain in the future. In addition, if you desire to work as an attorney, doctor, pharmacist, nurse, airline pilot, etc., you will have a much more difficult time obtaining your professional license with a DUI conviction on your record.

Background checks

Bear in mind that per the Fair Credit Reporting Act, a DUI arrest can only remain on your record for seven years. A conviction, however, can remain there forever unless you get the conviction expunged. In addition, the FCRA applies only to employers who hire an outside agency to do their employee background checks. It does not apply to the in-house background checks they conduct.

Also keep in mind that a background check can reveal other negative information about you regarding convictions of any nature whatsoever, including the following:

  • Your driving record in Missouri and any other state in which you lived or received a DUI or other vehicle-related conviction
  • Your Missouri and other states’ driver’s license suspensions and/or revocations
  • Your court records
  • Your incarceration records
  • Your own Facebook and other social media revelations and those of your friends about you

Even in situations where a DUI conviction does not automatically preclude your employment, many employers view any criminal conviction as a character flaw. While they cannot discriminate against you outright, they can take your conviction into consideration when deciding whether you or a conviction-free applicant is the best candidate for the job.

Your best strategy is to always drink responsibly and never, never drink and drive. While this educational information is not legal advice, it can help you understand the negative impacts of a DUI conviction.