Post # 1
A few weeks ago I made a mistake and drove on s few glasses of wine. I was charged with a DWI but my lawyer was confident it can get pled down to a DWAI. I am currently a leave replacement teacher, just starting out my career. It seems as though everything will be ok with this job, but I am worried about my future. From what I understand, it stays on record forever. Legally, a DWAI is a traffic infraction and so if on an application I am asked if I’ve ever been convicted of a crime I can say no, but i’m worried about it showing up on a background check.
Bees, do you think I ruined my chances of getting a permanent teaching job elsewhere?
Post # 2
papayagirl : Whoah. Teacher bee here. This is legit my worst nightmare (sorry that doesn’t help).
Differernt school districts have varying levels of reactions to alcohol related driving crimes. They weigh whether or not you would be a danger/unsafe for children.
I think you need to weigh the possibilities of being honest on your apps and mentioning the infraction and going to some safe driving classes to prove your remorseful OR trying to hide and not mention it if your lawyer advises that it’s not necessary to disclose.
Post # 3
- Wedding: March 2014 - Chicago, IL
I think basically everyone knows that a DWAI is just a first offense DWI…
Post # 4
As a recruiter I would always say be upfront about it. It always looks worse if they find out and you didn’t tell them.
i agree with pp who said you might want to do a safe driving course and show your remorse and that this was a one time thing.
Post # 5
It might help if you seek some kind of treatment for drinking. It will show you are serious.
Post # 6
I think you will be fine. I know several nurses and teachers who have been through something similar. People in those fields especially understand than people make mistakes. As long as you do not recieve any more DWI charges. You don’t need to tell them either. You can try it out and see what happens and if you are not getting jobs and feel like that is why, try not telling them.
Post # 7
papayagirl : I’m a recruiter and our application only asks about felonies, if a DUI comes up when we run the background check we look at it on a case by case basis after gathering more information. However, our company requires employees to drive a company car occasionally so we tend to lean strict on the driving records.
I wouldn’t mention it to potential employers unless you are asked about it (ie. have you ever been arrested?)
Also, when I was in my late teens/early twenties I got TWO DUI’s within two years. Not a great time in my life, but I got through it and I have an amazing career and life now.
You will get through this, bee.
ETA My company runs background checks going back 7 years, I don’t know how it works at other companies but this is likely something that will be a non issue eventually. I’ve had a lot of friends go through this too and are able to get great jobs.
Post # 8
no sympathy here. I detest drunk drivers.
Post # 9
- Wedding: May 2019 - York, ME
I got one at 19, and I’m 27 now and it hasn’t impacted my career at all. When it was recent, I would say “yes” on if I was convicted of a misdemeanor, even though I was never arrested. I would just rather be uprfont about it and have the opportunity to get in ahead of it before a background check went through.
Honestly, for me it was a life saver. I don’t know where I’d be if I didn’t get that DWAI when I did. I hope you take this seriously, and realize that the consequences could have been much, much worse than what you’re dealing with now.
Post # 10
One of my friends drove drunk. Got on the highway going in the wrong direction. Hit a van full of teenagers. One of those teens died. My friend spent several years in prison. And he’ll have to live with the guilt for the rest of his life. And that poor girl’s parents will grieve for the rest of theirs.
You were lucky.
Post # 11
- Wedding: August 2017 - Orange County, CA
Teacher bee here. I have no empathy for you. Drunk driving is not an innocuous mistake. You chose to get behind the wheel inebriated and now you should own up it that, not try to minimize or hide it.
Last year one of our students was killed in a drunk driving accident. He was 14 years old.
The woman behind the wheel had no prior DUIs. It was her first time too.
As a professional, I wouldn’t want a collegue who had such poor judgement as a role model for our kids.
Post # 12
Yup im going to agree that you need to be honest about this, no sympathy here at all..
To be honest its a little disturbing to me that your main worry and focus is your job and not the fact that as an adult you got behind the wheel drunk and luckily managed to come out unhurt and without hurting anyone else.
If the principle and whoever is involved with hiring you decides you can be given a second chance fine.. but you need to be honest about it children’s lives are in your hands… of course your lawyer just cares about winning the case and giving you some seriously immoral advice.
Also keep in mind just because you lied when getting hired doesnt mean parents/teachers wont find out.. you never know who people know.
If i was a parent of a kid in your class/school and I found this out.. shit would hit the fan
Post # 13
OP, many companies these days disregard criminal offenses if it is unrelated to job duties. If your duties as a teacher don’t require you to drive on the job, then it shouldn’t be an issue.
Post # 14
Lol some of you would be absolutely shocked to discover how many teachers/admins in your kids’ schools have DUIs.
OP, I’m not going to put my judgement pants on and give you a lecture. You know you screwed up. You know this will stay on your record forever, and it will show up on every background check that is run from here on out. As others have said, it really depends on the school district whether or not this will affect their decision to hire you in the future. Obviously the more time passes, the less attention they are likely to pay to it. Do not ever lie or omit it from an application, there’s no point and it will just make your character look even more questionable. Complete all of the terms of your sentencing/probation, if applicable, and pay all of your fees and fines.
This is not the end of the world, but it will probably bring you some challenges. Stop drinking and driving, get a Lyft/Uber next time.