September 12, 2018By Brian Manchester
Many people make the mistake of assuming a DUI is irrelevant to their professional licences. This idea couldn’t be further from the truth!
The reality is a DUI conviction can cause long-term, unexpected problems with your career and reputation. Some licenses may be revoked or suspended as a result of your DUI conviction. In some professions, future license applicants may be rendered ineligible due to a DUI. In many cases, the professional license holder is required to report the conviction to their respect board or employer right away. As such, it is essential to seek legal counsel immediately after the arrest.
Here are just small samplings of the licensed professionals affected by a Pennsylvania DUI:
A DUI conviction must be reported to the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of PA, which governs lawyer licensing. If you fail to disclose your conviction, you may face discliplinary action, which can vary greatly, depending on your record. Your ability to obtain professional insurance can be comprimised or you may face higher insurance rates as a result of your convinction.
Teachers, Schools, Administrators, Paraprofessionals and Other School Employees
Pennsylvania State Law requires teachers to complete a standardized form indicating whether the school employee has been convicted of a crimain offense or not. DUI is one of the offenses they are required to report. If the DUI involved drugs, a high BAC, or more than one DUI offense, you may lose your teaching or administrative license.
Many schools also require the disclosure of convictions on new employee applications, making it difficult to compete for a job in Pennsylvania’s highly competitive system.
There are many political aspects that can affect your standing as a teacher as well. Parent and political groups, such as MADD, will start letter-writing campaigns to the school board, which may force them to take harsh action against an employee charged with, or convicted of, a DUI in Pennsylvania.
A DUI conviction is handled internally within a police officer’s municipality. The degree of penalties and consequences resulting from a DUI conviction may depend on the type of DUI and the number of previous convictions. Like school employees, police officers are subject to politics in their field, which could lead to an officer’s suspension or termination.
A pilot is required to report a DUI conviction and any resulting driver’s license suspension to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Civil Action Security Division without 60 days. Otherwise, your pilot’s license is in jeopardy. Because of liability issues, some commercial airlines have been known to fire pilots charged with a DUI, even if it is a first-time offense.
A stockbroker is required to report any conviction to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Failure to disclose the DUI immediately could lead to your disqualification. Large brokerage firms typically require their stockbrokers to report DUI convictions. Your ability to obtain professional insurance can be comprimised or you could face higher insurance rates.