This is not a question that you will ever want to ask yourself “after the event”. So, before you face any drink driving charges, let’s consider just how badly a mistake can affect your career. Naturally, it’s best to avoid problems before they arise, and the best way of doing this is to anticipate any possible scenarios and have the related information ready and available, basing your decisions on the same. So where to begin?
Whether you decide to drive home after the pub, or where you get up the morning after the night before and believe that you are fit to drive to work, if you are faced with drink driving charges then things will change. Many offences are in fact committed the morning after, simply because alcohol only dissipates from the body at roughly one unit per hour and a few hours’ sleep won’t necessarily rid you of the night’s intake.
There is a range of drink driving offences, all of them criminal, from being in control of a vehicle (but not driving), through driving under the influence, failing to give a sample and causing death whilst driving under the influence. Of course the severity of the penalties handed down depend on the very charge you face, and the nuances of each are best left to your drink driving solicitors, but they will impact on you personally and they will in all probability impact you professionally. Not all jobs will be affected by a conviction, but the only one that matters is your own. So what next?
The first place to start is your employment contract. Within it there will probably be a stipulated term as to whether you are legally obliged to notify your employer of any conviction. Not all contracts have such a clause. But, if your job involves driving of any kind, then they will have to be told. What should also be considered is your ability to get to work. This will be a fundamental term of any contract. if you cannot get to the office or factory, and cannot therefore undertake your contracted role, then this will be a fundamental breach of the contract, may be deemed gross misconduct and may mean the loss of employment.
Will I Lose My Job?
Consider, ‘what is my job?’ If it involves driving as part of it, say delivery, then the likelihood is yes. Likewise, if getting to your place of work is part of your job, then yes again. Ask yourself, if you were an employer, what would you do?
Smaller companies will struggle to hold onto to people who cannot perform their duties for the minimum 12-month ban. Larger companies run the risk of upsetting other members of staff if they try to reallocate the role to other members of staff and rejig any individual’s role – who wants to be punished for somebody else’s mistake? At the very least, there will be some outcry, so even the most compassionate of bosses may struggle to justify the continuation in a role after a conviction.
You may be a member of a professional association and they too may require disclosure. This may mean you being barred from the association which could in turn impact your employment.
Any association, be they professional or possible future employers, will conduct background checks and will likely ask for disclosure of any unspent convictions. You may therefore struggle to obtain further work or a new role because of any drink driving conviction. On top of it being a criminal offence, do not forget that drink driving also carries a lot of public stigma – another factor that could compromise your prospects.
Your ban could be a minimum of 12 months, you could have an endorsed licence for 11 years and you could also have a criminal record. Not only would this be likely to have a bearing your current career and employment prospects, but you could experience immediate financial issues, also. It is estimated that on average, a conviction for drink driving has a financial consequence of a staggering £20,000-£50,000. This takes into account the cost of the conviction, any fine, legal costs and all losses associated with your employment.
For these reasons, it is essential that you have experience and knowledge of the legal system on your side. If you or someone you know risks a drink driving conviction, speak to DFR Solicitors today and receive a free consultation.