Kansas and Missouri Professional Licensing Attorney Danielle Sanger Explains How a DUI Can Affect Your Teaching License

In our society, those who work with children are held to an extremely high standard. The standard is so high that a teacher will often get into licensing or employment trouble for behavior that would have little or no effect on a doctor, lawyer, or engineer. Whether this is fair or unfair is beside the point—it is a fact of life.  As a result, teachers often worry what the effect of a DUI will be on their careers.  If you are an educator here in Kansas or Missouri who has been charged with driving under the influence, call attorney Sanger today at 785-979-4353 to schedule a free consultation.

The Effects of a DUI Will Depend on Several Factors

DUI is the most common criminal offense committed by educators.  While it is a common offense, the effect of a DUI on your career varies widely and will depend on many factors—the circumstances surrounding the DUI, where you are in your teaching career, and whether you have had other DUI’s in the past.

Not all DUI cases are built the same. If you receive a DUI on the weekend and are just over the legal limit for driving, the arrest does not necessarily suggest that drinking is affecting your classroom performance.  On the other hand, if you receive a DUI charge while driving to or from work, it indicates that your drinking may be affecting your classroom performance.  In the latter scenario, expect employer and state scrutiny. Finally, a DUI that suggests that you have or would endanger children—such as a DUI while driving a summer camp van—is likely to be particularly problematic.

Your professional teaching status will affect how a DUI charge impacts your career. If you are an aspiring teacher, you may now have a DUI charge come up on every background check. If the circumstances of your DUI show poor judgement or severe disregard for public safety, it may become an issue with the state licensing agency and will likely be seen as a problem by employers. You will have to be prepared to address the issue with state investigators and prospective employers forthrightly.  You will need to have a strong body of evidence that suggests that this was a one-time occurrence to defuse notions that you are not fit to teach.

If you are already a teacher but are not tenured, a DUI may reflect poorly on you and may influence the tenure process in subtle or not-so-subtle ways, especially if the DUI had any overlap with your teaching duties.  Finally, if you are a tenured teacher, a DUI charge or conviction may have little effect on your employment provided that it did not otherwise reflect poor judgment or impact your work in the classroom.

Before any license or employment action can begin against you, the body seeking to discipline you must provide you with notice of any allegations and the evidence against you. It is a grave mistake to try to “be helpful” or to talk your way out of this situation. Only an experienced licensing attorney has the sort of experience you require to maintain your career and livelihood.

Contact an Experienced Kansas and Missouri Licensing Attorney Now for the Advice You Need

You have worked too hard to attain your teaching license to lose it because you failed to attain professional legal advice promptly after being charged with DUI.   Contacting an experienced licensing attorney can mean the difference between getting back to the classroom and your students and losing your career forever.

Kansas and Missouri professional licensing attorney Danielle Sanger is prepared to advocate for your best interests and defend your teaching license. Call Attorney Sanger at 785-979-4353 to schedule a free consultation with an attorney experienced dealing with professional licensing issues.