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Can You be a Teacher with a DUI?
(Statistics and Trends in 2024)

Whether you can be a teacher with a DUI (Driving Under the Influence) conviction depends on several factors, including the state’s laws and regulations, the severity of the offense, and the policies of the school district or educational institution.
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Can a DUI Conviction Prevent Someone from Being a Teacher?

A DUI conviction could potentially hinder someone from pursuing a teaching career in many U.S. states.

Even though a person may have their teaching credentials, new teachers are still subject to background checks. These background checks conducted by school districts and private schools include criminal records - Taylor & Taylor.

According to the DUI central notice, individuals with DUI convictions on their records may be denied employment. The school district or board might view the DUI as evidence of poor judgment. In cases of multiple DUIs, the board might also suspect a substance abuse issue [1].

Also Read: Can You Be Charged With DUI Without Evidence?

Can You Lose Your Teaching License if You Get a DUI?

Losing your license is a potential outcome when facing a DUI charge, but there are other possible consequences as well.

If you are not currently employed as an educator but do have a teaching license, you may be unlikely to get a job post-conviction, and your license may be revoked immediately. Fighting a conviction (and succeeding) may increase your chances of employment in any school district - stated Christopher M. Stahl.

Experienced teachers, particularly those with tenure, are less likely to have their licenses revoked, although suspension or termination remain possibilities. Retaining the license is probable, but finding new teaching positions might be challenging post-conviction.

According to Christopher M. Stahl, In Louisiana, teachers in public schools have greater job security compared to those in private schools. Public school teachers are more likely to retain their jobs despite a DWI conviction, whereas private schools often have the discretion to terminate employees without explanation [2].

What to do if You are a Teacher with a DUI Arrest or Conviction

Teachers are required to hold credentials, and misconduct outside the classroom can lead to the revocation of these credentials. Teachers must report any criminal convictions, including common offenses like DUIs, which can jeopardize their professional standing.

Even though it occurred outside work, teachers with an alcohol or substance abuse problem are deemed to be a danger to children. Teachers can potentially lose their license based on the severity of the conviction and any prior record they have, stated Unlock Legal.

As stated by the Unlock Legal 2022 publication, teachers must report convictions themselves, as arrest and conviction records are public and accessible by the relevant teaching credentialing authority. Fingerprinting automatically transmits arrest information to the credentialing body. Failure to report can lead to further consequences, complicating future job prospects [3].

DUI Statistics and Trends

  • The incidence of fatal crashes involving drunk driving rose in 2021, resulting in the deaths of 13,384 individuals. Approximately 31% of all fatal crashes that year involved drivers under the influence of alcohol.
  • Montana had the highest rate of traffic deaths involving drunk drivers in 2020, accounting for about 45% of all traffic fatalities in the state.
  • Between 2020 and 2021, Alaska, the District of Columbia, and Idaho saw the most significant increases in the number of drunk drivers involved in deadly crashes.
  • Nationally, driving under the influence (DUI) accounts for approximately one in 10 arrests. In Pennsylvania, about 25% of all arrests in 2021 were related to drunk or intoxicated driving.
  • In 2022, approximately 20% of drivers admitted to driving drunk at least once, while 10% reported doing so frequently.

As stated by the SafeHome.org [4].

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References:

1. https://cmstahllaw.com/can-you-be-a-teacher-with-a-dui/
2. https://www.safehome.org/resources/dui-statistics/
3. https://www.duicentral.com/blog/2022/november/how-a-dui-can-affect-your-california-teaching-cr/
4. https://www.unlocklegal.com/blog/what-to-do-if-you-are-a-california-teacher-with-a-dui-arrest-or-conviction/