Changes are coming soon to Alberta’s drunk-driving laws that will largely decriminalize first-time offences for drunk driving. That will reduce penalties as a legal matter, but there are other considerations in play.

First, those changes in the law apply only to offences that occur after the July 2018 effective date for the new law. Second, and perhaps more importantly, those changes in the law apply only to legal consequences of a drunk-driving conviction. Changes in the law have no impact on how a drunk-driving conviction will affect your life. Those impacts can potentially last for many years and have little to do with the immediate legal consequences of a drunk-driving conviction.

A Drunken Driving Conviction Won’t Help You With Most Employers

Employers are unlikely to look favourably upon your job application if they can find a similarly qualified applicant who does not have a drunken-driving conviction. A drunken driving conviction—and sometimes even having been charged with drunken driving—can negatively impact your ability to get a job. If your prospective employer runs a background check on you—as so many employers do these days—a DUI conviction will come out. A drunk-driving conviction will give many employers pause. In many cases, it will lead to you not getting the job, especially if an equally qualified candidate without a drunken-driving conviction has applied. Further, employers have been known to terminate employees who are convicted of a drunken driving charge, especially if you are required to drive during the course of your regular work duties. Often, such decisions are driven by the conditions of the employers’ insurance policy. The impacts of a drunken driving conviction on your prospects for getting a job, as well as keeping your job, are numerous, including:

  • A DUI conviction could disqualify you from being hired for a job, particularly jobs that require driving, such as route sales, truck driving, food delivery, or taxi driving jobs.
  • Many companies screen applicants using background checks. These companies are likely to move applicants with drunken driving applications to the back of the line or disqualify them completely. You might be unable to work in some professions, including the military and professions that have licencing requirements, such as medicine and the law.
  • Many employers will look at a drunken driving conviction as a sign of more other problems, such as alcoholism or other substance abuse. Also, if your licence has been suspended because of a drunken driving conviction, your ability to get to work reliably might factor into a hiring decision, as might future court dates, potential community service requirements, and even jail time. Because you could be missing a significant amount of work, many employers will not take a chance on you.

If You Have Been Charged With any Drunken Driving Offence in Alberta, Contact the Lawyers of Bourdon Defence

If you have been charged with a drunk driving offence in Alberta, you should consult a lawyer. The lawyers of Bourdon Defence can assist you in protecting your rights under such circumstances. You can reach us at (403) 474-4143 or through our website.