Searching for a job after DUI

Old 10-13-2008, 12:27 PM
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Unhappy Searching for a job after DUI

I got my first DUI over the summer, although it was hardly the first time I'd driven drunk. I've struggled since then to stop drinking, and I know that I'm on the road to recovery. The problem, however, is that my license was suspended at the time of the arrest (for non-payment of fines) so it looks like I'm going to be found guilty and will be going to jail. I feel like such an idiot and a loser right now. Especially since I'm finishing up a master's degree and will be looking for new employment within the next 5-6 months. I had wanted to enroll in a teacher certification program, but I don't think I qualify with a DUI. I had no idea how many negative ramifications came with a DUI.

Does anyone have any experience getting a job after being arrested (and convicted) of DUI?
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Old 10-14-2008, 05:43 AM
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I'm giving this post a bump up in hopes that someone on SR with experience will be able to assist you.

I'm guessing that your being active in AA will be helpful for you in finding a career. It will show employers (possibly in AA themselves) that you are committed to your sober lifestyle.

I'm glad you are here and sober today!
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Old 10-14-2008, 05:53 AM
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Maybe it would be a good idea to talk to a lawyer. Do you have a lawyer to help you with your present case? I think the best thing would be to get legal advice, so you know exactly where you stand. If you find the door closed to you, then it means that another one will open. Keep moving forward.
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Old 10-14-2008, 07:42 AM
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Thanks for the bump.

I had been thinking about becoming a teacher, but it looks like I can't do it with a dui. I do have an attorney, but I haven't gotten the best info from him about what my hirablility will be. He still wants to give me hope that I will be found not guilty.

I guess that since so many people that I know drink and drive at some point, I just didn't realize that the ramifications and the judgement against someone with one dui would be so severe. I would think that most people who drink out at bars have gone home over the limit at least once. I'm not trying to excuse what I did, but I also don't want to be branded as a dangerous criminal either.

I think what's hard is that I tend to feel ashamed of myself for any mistake that I make, so this whole dui situation has sent me into a bit of a shame spiral. I haven't told one person I know about it. I guess I just want a bit of more realistic perspective of what it means to have a dui on your record.
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Old 10-14-2008, 07:46 AM
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Although I don't know your state's particular laws, I seriously doubt that a DUI will affect teacher certification. I say this with much experience.

Background checks are part and parcel of the certification process in every state. But, a msidemeanor such as a DUI will probably require only an explanation.

Landing a job may be another matter. Most districts will conduct another background check. And a DUI will probably surface.

I have two DUI's and currently teach. I was a long time principal at the time of my first DUI. Neither has caused me to lose my job.

If you are sincere about this career choice, I think you will have no problem finding a district that will look at your qualifications and potential above anything else. I have hired dozens and dozens of teachers and only felony convictions raised eyebrows.

Good luck with your endeavors. You should be able to download such certification information from your state. Be sure to look at your state's Code of Professional Ethics as well.

Stuff happens to good people.

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Old 10-14-2008, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by ClimbingUP View Post
I think what's hard is that I tend to feel ashamed of myself for any mistake that I make, so this whole dui situation has sent me into a bit of a shame spiral. I haven't told one person I know about it. I guess I just want a bit of more realistic perspective of what it means to have a dui on your record.


I understand your shame...I was arrested mothers day weekend in 2007...I spent the weekend in jail. This was my first DUI...I am still paying today financially for this DUI...However, the positive side of all this is after hitting two parked cars, with a family in one of them, no one was hurt...That is all I cared about in jail, I really didn't care about myself as I was killing myself with alcohol abuse...

As far as having a record, I am making it my business not to let it happen again...

Forgive yourself and start on a path of sobriety...It is your only chance to live a meaningful life...

Keep posting, we are happy you found us...
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Old 10-14-2008, 07:58 AM
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Thanks Warren and Missy--I really needed a bit of perspective. I've gotten into AA and I am taking this seriously--a part of me feels like I needed to get a DUI to shock me into the realization of how out of control my life had become. It's hard for me right now, because I don't feel comfortable talking to my advisors or friends, so i've been dealing with all of this in my own head and I'm not the most forgiving. Thanks for the encouragement!!
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Old 10-14-2008, 08:57 AM
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Hi climbingup. I too received my first DUI this year. It was in the beginning of May and I have not had a drink since. I have found for me that I am not as concerned with people knowing as I continue to stay sober. I did not want ANYONE to know when it first happened. now, it is a part of my past and I am working my 12 steps so it does not have the power that it did in the beginning. I told my Mom about 2 weeks ago. I just got tired of lying about where I was several nights a week. My husband telling her he did not know where I was when she called, was pretty silly.

I have found that my fears surrounding my DUI are a lot scarier than the reality. One step at a time, one day at a time. If it was the catalyst that you needed to wake up and get sober like it was for me, then it was (almost) worth it!

Keep coming back :ghug3
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Old 10-14-2008, 09:50 AM
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Both The President of the United States and the Governor of my state (Idaho) overcame DUI's. They also overcame my vote for the other guy...

Seriously, A DUI can be the most shame inducing experience I can think of if one's character is important to him/her. It must be a catalyst for change and turned into an "opportunity" for betterment if one is to truly heal.

I find that it is important to share the experience with those whom I love. Shame and secrecy are intimate bedmates. Being totally honest about my culpability and guilt helps me heal. No excuses, no anger towards the police, judge, etc in spite of some "unfairness."

Since I have been there twice, I know that when one is in the middle of the "process," that it is very difficult to think that there is "opportunity" in such disgrace.

Humility is the key. No one can take your dignity away, you must give it away.

Yes, your life is forever changed. But not in the way you might think. You may in fact be better prepared to teach others than before. Again, I really do not think it will prevent you from pursuing any life goal if you grow from it. When I hired teachers I weighed humility far more than perfection.

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Old 10-14-2008, 03:31 PM
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My Experience with teaching and DUI's

Regarding your concern over teaching and DUI's....I live in the Mid-Atlantic....have multiple DWI's....lost my teaching job of over 20 years this May for showing up at school drunk...TWICE. MY point....this August I applied for and got numerous job offers to teach in neighboring areas..I accepted one and am currently teaching the same grade at the same pay I was before. Listen carefully...SCHOOL DISTRICTS ONLY RUN YOU THROUGH SEX OFFENDER AND CHILD ABUSE REGISTRIES..ON BOTH THE STATE AND FEDERAL LEVELS...THEY DO NOT CHECK ANYTHING ELSE. Federal law requires the child offender search...and thats all. The application did ask if I was ever convicted of a felony....of course I omitted that from my one caught one even asked why I left my previous employ. CALM DOWN....with the teacher shortage in the US most places are even hiring non-violent on your day at a time...enjoy your career.
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Old 10-14-2008, 05:39 PM
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In Maryland if first offenders follow a prescribed series of steps and do not reoffend in 5 years, the DUI doesn't show up anywhere. They truly give first offenders a break.

My son received first DUI in May and was following the criteria outlined- attending classes, interlock device on vehicle- but unfortunately he drove his sister's car while we were on vacation and got a second DUI in August. This time the penalties are much more severe but as he says (in rehab now) "it takes what it takes".

I did notice that after his first DUI his attitude was rather cavalier but after spending 3 days in the maximum security lockup after the 2nd one, I think the severity of the situation has set in.

Good luck to you and I hope this is as bad as it gets for you.
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Old 10-14-2008, 06:43 PM
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I am also a teacher. I know other teachers who have received DUI's and it has not hurt their license. Keep a positive attitude. It is usually only felony arrests that affect the ability to be hired into a district. Good Luck!!!!
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Old 11-01-2008, 10:16 AM
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I got a DUI in 1994. The job I had at the time required me to have a license. I had been promised a promotion and raise and the only way I knew to cope with the carrot on the stick treatment by my employer was to drink. Drinking was the solution to all life's problems then... Now I know it is but a symptom of my disease.

By some miracle, or lets just say through nothing I did, other than to show up and be honest about what had happened, I was given the responsibilities of the promotion without the raise. One of the requirements for the raise was getting a certification so on the advice of my sponsor I went and paid for the course myself and passed. I then presented the cert to my employer and asked if they were going to honor their word about giving me the raise if I had the cert. They not only gave me a substantial raise but also reimbursed me for the training.

It wasn't too much later that I got an even better job where it was much easier to use public transportation to get to and from which was great since I was "drivers license challenged". I remember during the new hire paperwork drill the admin person asked for my drivers license. I handed her my state identification card. She got a funny look on her face but didn't say anything about it.

That was years ago. I've been with my current employer for almost 8 years. I had to go through a rather thorough background check. The application asked if I had any felonies or misdemeanors. I listed all the details I could think of on a separate piece of paper to HR and was concerned that they might have an issue with the DUI. A couple of days later I got a call saying they had misplaced the paperwork. I submitted it again, but not in quite as much detail. HR lost it again.... The third time I just entered dates and times. (I had more than one DUI but thankfully no felonies).

Thanks for letting me share my experience. What I'm trying to convey is that after I came into AA (and now NA as well), got a sponsor and worked the steps, life got better in more ways than I imagined. Things seem to have happened and doors seemed to have been opened. None of it was of my own making. The only thing I did was be willing to suit up, show up and walk through the doors & do the very best I could.

I've had my challenges since then, got complacent in my recovery and have suffered as a result. I'm glad I know what works and have started the steps again and picked up my meetings. As my sponsor tells me: "When the pain becomes great enough, change will take place". Fortunately or unfortunately, alcoholics in general seem to have a high threshold for pain. It usually takes a lot to get us to change our lives. At least it does for me.

Best of luck with your teaching career.
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Old 11-01-2008, 01:48 PM
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Don't worry too much about this. I had one and failed to pay fines, failed to complete ordered AA, etc.....While it screwed up getting my license for many years I was still able to get a very good job. I am a professional engineer and it has not affected my career. You should not be given jail time for non-payment of fines but you will most likely get some probation, community service, etc....just be honest with the judge and things will work out. As far as teaching, DUI's do not affect your chances at becoming a teacher.....other than finding a way to work if you have no license. Keep your head up and good luck!
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Old 09-20-2012, 12:22 PM
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Hi, Im in almost the same boat. I have 2 dwi's I live in TX and i am getting close to finishing up my undergrad in music. I have similar questions and concerns. years ago I found myself in a lonely and dark place in my life and well "IT" happens. Now I am faced with this flood of fears that after all my hard work I may not be able to live my dream because of stupid mistakes. Any feedback or advice is most welcomed, I also would appreciate if some one could point me in the right direction to find info that tells me a definate yes or no. Frankly at tis point my life im done with games and just want to make something of myself and live my dream. Personally i think all of you and myself are very brave to just put ourselves out here like this. It makes me feel really good that i just stumbled upon this site and with so many "like experienced" people.
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Old 09-20-2012, 12:28 PM
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Welcome, Lazarus!

I'm glad you found us.

I'm sorry about your legal situation, but I hope that you are sober and recovering now.

I'm not sure there are Yes or No answers for your problem. If you're talking about finding a job in a specific field, I think it depends on the job. One thing that is often discussed here is whether or not to be fully honest in a job application because many applications ask if you have been arrested. Personally, I think it's important to be up-front when you are job-searching.
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Old 07-24-2015, 10:57 AM
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Similar situation

Hello all,

I hope you are all doing well. I'm new here, and have been catching up on the threads.

I have had two DUI's and hit rock bottom about two years ago. It was a dark place, and I will never forget it.

I feel as though I've become a better person because of those experiences, and have been sober now for about two years - one day at a time.

I've been a substitute teacher and an assistant teacher since then, and couldn't be happier in my occupation. I will be on my way to attaining my Master's degree, and hope to be a full time teacher sometime after.

I know that there are plenty of people with multiple DUIs that are teaching. I believe it has to do with the amount of time that has passed, and the severity of the charge (M, F, or minor involvement).

Any progress from any of the other posters?

I want to reach out to you all, and let you know that you are not alone. We are in this together, and we are always here for each other. That said, staying sober is the start of something beautiful and meaningful. It opened doors for me that would have otherwise been slammed shut.

Good luck to you all.
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Old 07-24-2015, 11:36 AM
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Welcome Wolvie congrats on your 2 year milestone
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Old 07-24-2015, 11:40 AM
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Welcome to SR, wolvie1. Congrats on 2 years sober!

This thread is almost seven years old but has a lot of wisdom in it. Thanks for bringing it back up.
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Old 07-24-2015, 02:32 PM
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Welcome to the Forum Wolvie!!
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