Those who get arrested and then charged for driving while intoxicated (DWI) in New York could face fines, jail time and the suspension of their driver’s license as a result of those criminal charges. Some people, eager to limit their consequences or the amount of time they have to spend in court, will quickly plead guilty to a DWI charge in the hope of making it just go away.
However, a guilty plea does not guarantee a lenient sentence or inherently protect you from any of the secondary consequences so often associated with an impaired driving conviction.
If your job involves driving, a DWI could cause immediate issues
Obviously, those with commercial driver’s licenses will have to deal with the impact of an impaired driving conviction on their eligibility for commercial driving privileges. However, you don’t have to have a commercial license in order to drive as part of your job. You can also lose your basic driver’s license, which can impact many kinds of work.
Maybe you make sales calls to clients, or perhaps you drive a repaired vehicle and do HVAC service for a large company. Your impaired driving arrest could very well increase your employer’s liability and insurance costs. In fact, they may even have an internal policy restricting who can perform driving-related tasks. In other words, a DWI could mean a demotion or even the loss of your job, especially if your job duties involve driving in any way.
A criminal conviction could affect your professional license
People in a broad range of professions ranging from accountants to medical professionals have to secure licensing from the state in order to legally practice in their chosen career. Depending on the standards set by the governing body for your profession, a DWI conviction could cost you your professional license or at least require you to sit through a disciplinary hearing with the licensing board for your profession.
A DWI on your criminal record will give future employers pause
Companies perform criminal background checks frequently as part of their hiring or promotion process in order to avoid liability that could come from hiring someone with a criminal background. Whether you change jobs or hope for a promotion at your current one, having a DWI on your permanent record could mean stalling out your professional development.
For many people, defending against a pending DWI charge is the best option and the only way to truly prevent an arrest for an alleged drunk driving incident from having permanent career consequences.