If you've been charged with a DUI, you're probably worried. And rightfully so. Oklahoma is notorious for tough laws against drunk drivers. You only need a drunk driving charge - not a conviction - to have your license suspended. Even a first offense comes with jail time.
When you've reached the age where the "it was just a dumb mistake" excuse no longer cuts it, you are probably concerned about how this DUI charge will affect your livelihood, and most importantly, your job. While you might not get outright fired because of a DUI (although you might, depending on what career field you are in), it will almost certainly lead to workplace and career complications.
Not having a license can make getting to work more challenging
What used to be part of the daily grind - getting up, getting dressed, driving to work - is now considered a luxury. A DUI charge can mean your license is revoked immediately, and a conviction could lead to months without one. If EMBARK isn't an option for you, finding alternative methods to getting to work can be difficult. In addition, explaining to coworkers or your boss why you have to leave a meeting early to catch the bus can be rather awkward.
It's not only your driver's license that is affected
If you are CPA, an attorney or a doctor - any job that requires a professional license - your career could be in jeopardy. A DUI conviction might mean the disciplinary committee gets involved. Even if you don't officially lose your professional license, your reputation will definitely be impacted.
A conviction will show up on a background check
Even if a DUI doesn't affect your current position, it could affect your chances of getting a job in the future. Most companies run background checks on potential employees as part of standard operating procedure. When a criminal conviction shows up, it could be enough reason to move on to a different candidate.
Ignition interlock devices warrant some explanation to passengers
Oklahoma's Erin Swezey Act means that even with a first conviction, you could end up with an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle for over a year. If your job entails driving clients anywhere, blowing into the device to turn on your car may not exactly be the ice breaker you need to land that deal. If your vehicle is a company car, the situation is even more tricky.
A DUI charge complicates life; a DUI conviction can devastate it. It's important to remember that charges and convictions aren't one and the same. A charge doesn't have to lead to a conviction, and if you've got the right attorney on your side, it won't.