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Can alcohol charges in college affect your future employability?

On Behalf of | Jan 6, 2020 | Firm News |

College is a time for you to explore career opportunities and prepare yourself for your professional future. It can be an overwhelming, rewarding and exciting time in your life. But your goals and dreams could come screeching to a halt if you are facing alcohol-related charges.


Far-reaching consequences

Whether it’s a DUI conviction or an underage possession charge, alcohol-related charges can affect your time at college in several ways. But what about beyond college? If you aren’t careful, an alcohol conviction can follow you after graduation and affect your life in many ways. Your employability is just one aspect of your life that may suffer.

Ban the box protects you

When you’re charged with underage drinking, for example, expungement is sometimes an available option that seals your record and effectively gives you a clean slate. However, you shouldn’t depend on expungement to get you out of trouble. Additionally, charges like DUIs often remain on your criminal record.

Luckily, Virginia joined many other states in adopting ban the box laws. This means that employers cannot ask job applicants to divulge their previous criminal arrests or convictions. These laws help to eliminate the stigma of hiring people with criminal records. It gives them a fair chance by considering their qualifications for the job rather than letting a criminal conviction influence an employer’s decision to interview them.

Employer bias can hurt you

As helpful as ban the box laws can be, however, a DUI conviction is still likely to show up on any background checks. And unfortunately, an employer can deny you a job if your background check results give them a legitimate reason to do so. For many employers, hiring convicts based on their criminal record is too big a risk to take.

So, an employer’s assumptions or bias can hurt you when it comes time to accepting a dream job offer. A DUI on your record could particularly harm your chances of getting hired for jobs that require a lot of driving. An employer may see your DUI or other criminal history and assume you don’t have the responsibility to take on the job.

Don’t let a conviction change your future

Because an alcohol-related charge can impact your life after college, it’s important to be aware of the consequences now. If you are facing a DUI or underage drinking charge, it’s crucial to consider how it can affect your future. You will want to take the necessary steps to ensure that you still have a bright and successful future waiting for you after college.