No-one sets out to drive with an excess amount of alcohol in their bloodstream and especially not you. However, at Christmas and New year we’re partying more and while you took the precaution of staying at your friend’s house so you didn’t have to drive home at night, you can’t be sure that all the booze has left your system. You don’t feel drunk, you’ve slept and drunk lots of water, but you could still test as over the limit.
Then, you’re in a lot of trouble. You could well end up in court and maybe even face losing your licence and then your job. Some jobs don’t need you to have a clean driving licence, but you’ll still have a criminal record if you’re convicted of drink driving or any other driving offence. This can have a serious impact on your career prospects.
Do I have to tell my employer?
Your contract might not stipulate that you must declare a motoring offence. However, you need to read your employment handbook to find out whether you have to declare convictions. If your job involves driving, then it goes without saying that you must declare, especially as some convictions mean an automatic ban; if not, you can keep it to yourself for now. At this stage, though, you need help from someone like motor lawyers Kenway Miller.
Will I lose my job?
This depends quite a lot on your job. If it’s in your contract that you must have a clean driving licence and you’re able to drive, then you may lose your job if your employer can’t make the right adjustments for your new situation. Additionally, if you were driving a company car or actually on shift at the time of the offence, then your employer has definite grounds for dismissal.
Will I lose my licence?
If you’re being prosecuted for drink driving or another of the more serious driving offences, then you will probably lose your licence if you’re convicted, yes. You may be able to plead for leniency, especially if your ability to drive is really important for your family.
Will I have to leave my professional body?
Sometimes a criminal record can mean you’ll have to leave a professional association, or that you won’t be able to join it. Some bodies require you to reveal any more serious driving offences and convictions; they may accept you if you can show you’ve reformed, but you must be honest as most associations can and will perform background checks.
What about background checks in the future
Most background checks are only performed to a basic disclosure level, but if you work with children or vulnerable adults, then you’ll need an enhanced check. There’s no way out of this, so you must be open and above board about your convictions.
In short, having a conviction for a driving offence can affect your job and career prospects – you’re naïve if you think otherwise as the job market is very competitive. If it comes down to the choice between you and someone with a driving licence then the company is more likely to pick the other candidate.
Remember, you can only be caught drink driving if you’re driving with too much alcohol in your bloodstream. If you think you’ll end up drinking, then leave the car at home and book a cab; alternatively, use a drinks calculator to work out when you’ll be under the limit to drive.