In some ways, a driving well intoxicated (DWI) offense isn’t as serious as a violent criminal charge might be. However, a DWI can still lead to jail time, financial consequences and licensing penalties for the person accused. A Texas DWI can cost someone thousands of dollars if they plead guilty and can lead to numerous personal challenges that continue popping up for years after their arrest.

Career consequences are among the common side effects of pleading guilty to DWI allegations in Texas. How might a drunk driving offense that didn’t occur at work affect someone’s career?

They won’t be able to pass a background check

It has become common practice for businesses to perform criminal background checks on most new hires. Companies even do background checks when considering the short list of final candidates for a promotion. Workers who have criminal blemishes that turn up in a background check may have a harder time obtaining a promotion or moving into a better position with a different company.

They won’t be able to drive for work

Some people have to drive as part of their job. Delivery drivers and those with commercial driver’s licenses might not be able to continue their employment at all after a DWI conviction because they will lose their licenses. Others may only have to drive occasionally for work, but even they may find themselves unable to continue performing their jobs when they lose their driving privileges.

Even if the loss of their license temporarily won’t cost them their job, their employer May refuse to absorb the increased insurance costs involved with having someone with a DWI on their record operating a vehicle during company time. Being unable to perform job responsibilities can cost someone their employment or stagnate their career development.

They will face serious social stigma

There is quite a bit of stigma associated with having a criminal record, including impaired driving offenses based on technicalities rather than causing injury to others. Coworkers, prospective clients and possible future employers might all treat someone differently because of the social stigma related to their DWI arrest. Rumors about someone’s prior drinking issues can spread even to those who would never bother performing a background check.

The only way for a professional who has been accused of a DWI to avoid career consequences and other possible penalties is to assertively defend against the charges that they face. Fighting back against DWI charges can help someone prevent a simple misunderstanding from permanently altering their life.