Not only is a DUI conviction punishable by a license suspension, fines, and jail time, but it can also result in a permanent criminal record that can damage your professional reputation and personal life. Furthermore, getting convicted can jeopardize the status of your professional license.
Many employers and professional boards require license holders to report any convictions immediately. Disciplinary action often comes in the form of suspension or permanent ban on your professional license.
A DUI conviction can affect the following types of professions:
- Commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders – Commercial drivers face a one-year CDL suspension for a first DUI conviction—in addition to the revocation of their personal driver’s license. If a CDL holder was arrested while transporting hazardous materials, the CDL suspension will last up to three years. A second DUI conviction results in the permanent ban.
- Pilots – Within 60 days, a pilot must report a conviction and/or driver’s license suspension to the Federal Aviation Administration. Due to liability issues, a DUI conviction can lead to termination.
- Medical professionals – From doctors to nurses, healthcare providers are required to report any convictions to their respective board. Again, liability plays a significant role in determining the consequences for a DUI conviction, which will often result in loss of license.
- Teachers – Although a first-time DUI conviction may not result in the automatic loss of a teaching license, having a high BAC or having more than one DUI conviction can. If drug use was involved in the offense, punishment includes loss of license. In addition, parents may petition the school to remove a teacher who has been convicted of a DUI due to having a significant influence on their children.
- Lawyers – Even attorneys in Tennessee must report a conviction to the Board of Professional Responsibility of the Tennessee Supreme Court. Failure to report a DUI conviction can lead to serious disciplinary action.
- Law enforcement – The police departments internally handle DUI convictions committed by officers. The consequences and penalties convicted officers face depending on their record and the circumstances of each case.
If you have been arrested for a DUI in Knoxville and risk losing your professional license, contact Eldridge & Blakney today at (865) 544-2010 and schedule a free consultation.