Pending DUI

Discussion in 'General Education' started by SackExchange, Jan 14, 2017.

  1. SackExchange

    SackExchange Guest

    Jan 14, 2017

    Hello, and thanks for taking the time to view my (rather unfortunate) first post.

    I am a prospective teacher who has just finished my student teaching and applied for my license with my state BoE. I am currently not working in a school, but am planning on applying for jobs after the current semester ends.

    Unfortunately, I made the decision to drive home after having a few drinks at a friend's place while watching a football game a couple of weeks ago. I was pulled over and arrested on suspicion of DUI, had my blood taken for a BAC test (the results have not come back yet, but my level of intoxication was light), and spent the night in jail. The whole ordeal has caused me to reflect deeply on my decision that night and how I must hold myself to a higher standard if I wish to be an effective classroom teacher. I have also vowed to use the experience to better educate adolescents on the dangers of not only alcohol and getting behind the wheel, but the idea of taking responsibility for one's actions and using mistakes as a learning experience.

    I have no prior criminal history, have a long history of volunteering with students (as a volunteer football coach), and several letters of recommendation from longtime educators that I have worked with in the past.

    My question is, will employers automatically dismiss my application as soon as they see the term "DUI," or will they take into account my previously spotless record and history of volunteerism as evidence that this is a one-time mistake?

    Also, my license is still pending my "personal affirmation." One of the questions asks if I have ever been convicted of a crime. If I have not yet been convicted (or even arraigned yet, as my court date isn't until next week), should I answer yes or no?

    Thank you.
     
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  3. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Jan 14, 2017

    I hope this doesn't burst your bubble, but in some areas you will have a slim to nothing chance of being hired. Many districts have such a large number of applications that yours would go into the circular file immediately. Other districts have strict morality clauses.

    Better news is that there are academically struggling districts that would consider you.

    As an aside (and not specifically directed at the OP), I get tired of people saying they "made a mistake" when they committed an illegal act like that is supposed to absolve them of their blame. The fact that they chose the behavior was not a mistake.
     
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  4. Luv2TeachInTX

    Luv2TeachInTX Comrade

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    Jan 14, 2017

    Yes, you can get hired, depending on the district. It will not be easy though and be prepared for rejection. The more competitive the district is, the less likely they will be forgiving. One thing that might make it hard for you is that it is so recent. If it were a 10 year old DUI it would be different. All you can do is keep trying if teaching is what you really want to do.
     
  5. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Why didn't you just get an Uber?
     
  6. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    Jan 15, 2017

    I'm not sure how a school would take this, but I'd say your better bet would be to see if there's a way to get this expunged from your record. Will you have a court date for this? Have you hired a lawyer?

    A judge might take into account previous history, personal situations, etc. In some areas, there are classes you might be able to take or programs you could participate in (like a sober living counseling group coupled with the agreement that you won't drink while in the program) that would allow you to bypass this going on your record. It's not something I have personal experience with, but I have heard of these deals being made, so it's worth looking into.

    While you may still have career choices with a DUI conviction, it would definitely be better if you didn't have this as an obstacle.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2017
  7. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    It would be a deal breaker if we have more than one applicant for the position. If you are convicted, address it in your killer cover letter so maybe someone will give you a shot.

    What are the potential consequences for a first DUI? I'm sure I know folks who have one, but have no idea of the legal aspects of the sentencing.
     
  8. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    You've never been convicted, so answer no. Quickly. Today. Immediately after reading this. Your answer may change to yes in the not too distant future, so say no now.

    As for finding a job... worry about your legal issues first. Get that all taken care of. Get yourself good legal advice, keep yourself clean from now on, and start thinking of what specific actions you will take to ensure this never happens again.
     
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  9. Mr Magoo

    Mr Magoo Comrade

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    Jan 15, 2017

    .
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2017
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  10. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    While this is mostly accurate, it is an oversimplification:
    [​IMG]
     
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  11. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    I would be shocked if you were to be hired in my district. There are simply too many other people applying to pay attention to your application. You endangered a whole host of strangers that night. It was stupid to drink and drive. There are so many better options available for someone in your situation. How could a district ever trust you to make a sensible decision with children?
     
  12. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    I am suspicious of this, because it is unlikely that it would take a few weeks for your blood alcohol results to come back.
     
  13. cupcakequeen

    cupcakequeen Comrade

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    I think it would really depend on the district. In my district, which is small but competitive, we have had teachers and admins forced to resign over DUIs. While having a DUI on your record might not be an automatic "No" you would need to be a better choice than every other applicant in every regard to stand a chance.

    On the flip side, I have a friend who teachers in a much larger, very urban district. She had a DUI on her record prior to student teaching and found a job easily after graduation.
     
  14. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I wondered about this as well. I assume that a breathalyzer was given and you blew over, or they would not have kept you overnight. Without the "numbers" there isn't any way to tell how intoxicated someone is, and there is no hard and fast formula for how much you can drink and be "safe" to drive. I decided long ago that one is too many if I'm driving.
     
  15. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    The OP does state that it was a blood test, which could take some time to test. It seems like that would be done in addition to the breathalyzer though.

    We've had so many new posters putting dubious posts on here as their first or second posts lately. OP, sorry to call your story into question, as it might very well be true, but it is strange we've had a lot of these lately. Many legal issues or issues with parents or inappropriate relationships have filled these boards lately.

    (I also notice this poster has not come back to reply to this thread.)
     
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  16. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    I do the same. In my case, I can truly thank all of the, "I got a DUI" posts on this board that helped me make this decision. I remember one in particular where the poster got a DUI the next morning! I think people really don't realize how little you can drink and still get a DUI. People think of DUIs as someone being "wasted" and getting in the car to drive, when in reality you could get one with 2 drinks at happy hour. Most of my coworkers would think absolutely nothing of having 2-3 drinks at happy hour and then driving home. I either take an uber/lyft, take public transportation, or don't drink at all.
     
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  17. Mr Magoo

    Mr Magoo Comrade

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    .
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2017
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  18. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    While I never had more than one or two if driving, once my children started driving, I decided that, if I expected them to have a zero blood alcohol level if they were getting behind the wheel, I needed to do the same.
     
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  19. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Jan 17, 2017

    A blood test can come back within hours - my step-grandfather was an alcoholic and was brought to the hospital many times by police who thought he was a doddering old man. One of the last times he was brought to the ER, they thought he was just a confused old man - he ended up having a BAC of 0.26 - the blood work came back like 3 hours after he was in the ER

    According to this page - for cases of a DUI, it can take upwards of a month, maybe more, depending on the backlog at the crime lab - https://www.avvo.com/legal-answers/how-long-does-it-take-to-get-bac-test-results-back-434226.html
     
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  20. MathGuy82

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    Jan 21, 2017

    We also have to remember that many of us "should have received DUI's" but we didn't. The original poster happened to get caught. This isn't a felony and I don't think all states or all districts disqualify. I've heard of police officers that have had a DUI on their record. I've even heard of a past President that had a DUI. Now days in some states it just takes two drinks and you can get a DUI it seems. I would recommend that the poster contact the state/district to see what the policy is. I feel bad and it doesn't sound like Sackexchange meant to do this. This happens more than we think in great magnitudes but most don't or didn't ever get caught. There is also a chance I think of getting the first DUI removed. SackExchange knows what he/she did wasn't the best choice but criticizing doesn't really help anyone. In fact, others can learn and this person could be a great teacher. Now if we were talking 2, 3, 4, or 5 DUI's that would be a different story. Also think of all the teachers that drove around in the 1960's-1980's when DUI laws were much less strict. I understand we don't want drunk drivers but I also think getting a DUI after two drinks and ruining a reputation is a bit too much. Because of this I don't drink while I'm out unless someone is driving now. Unless it's like a half a glass of wine and then I wait at least an hour.
    I would also advise not teaching in a small/rural district where everyone knows everyone and all their history. A scenario could be that they could see you at a bar and maybe try to judge while in a larger district/city they are more open minded. I won't ever teach in a small district again because of this. Everybody spreads rumors and everybody makes a big deal over nothing, especially if you aren't from around the small town. It seems like bigger districts don't judge on this as much and have better things to investigate than just 1 DUI or everything about a person. Small towns are great but they aren't for me if I would be a teacher in one.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2017
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  21. MathGuy82

    MathGuy82 Companion

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    Jan 22, 2017

    Thank you waterfall! I couldn't agree more. Most of the teachers who get a DUI aren't really drunk or passed out. I think it's good to get rid of drunk drivers but 2 or 3 drinks is a bit much for a full blown DUI. It makes me never want to have anything to drink and drive unless it's like less than 1 serving. It amazes me too how very little could get us in trouble.
     
  22. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    The limits are what they are because even after two or three drinks you can be impaired, your reflexes slowed, your judgment altered. It's not because the powers that be are a bunch of party poopers and don't want you to have a good time. They want you to be responsible. Have a designated driver, call an Uber, sleep over wherever you're drinking at...There are many options. Just act like a grown-up about it.
     
  23. mrsammieb

    mrsammieb Devotee

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    I don't think you are out of a job by any means. Apply at a bunch of places but you are more likely to be hired in an area that is in much need of teachers like intercity schools or rural schools. Work there for a few years. Then when you've proven yourself you will be more marketable.
     
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  24. MathGuy82

    MathGuy82 Companion

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    Jan 28, 2017

    I agree as well Caeser. Today, I would almost say it's important to get someone to drive unless you just had like a half glass (3oz of wine or half of a 12oz beer) and waited an hour. It's better than taking the risk.
     
  25. MrFrank35

    MrFrank35 Rookie

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    Unfortunately one poor choice can have lasting consequences. I would take care of the DUI first. Hopefully it won't end up on your permanent record but it really depends on the state you live in. As far as getting a job goes, it really depends on where you live and the district. I am in AZ and we are looking at a shortage of 2,000 teachers so you could likely still get a job in one of our public districts. Other states you might not be so lucky.
     
  26. Secondary Teach

    Secondary Teach Companion

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    Well SackExchange hasn't been online since, but in case he does return or browses as a guest I will answer. In most cases it's a matter of what type of background check is ran and also reporting guidelines between the county court and county police- where the DUI incident happened and the state. Most disticits only require a state police background check (Livescan fingerprinting) where you go to the county sheriff's office, get your fingerprints rolled, then finally submitted to the state police for any matching arrests/convictions on file from the state. Now in most cases districts opt not to pay for a background check at the county level, but sadly this is where many of the misdemeanor arrests (like DUI) are on file. If it's only a misdemeanor arrest and you're not found guilty, or the charges are refused and you're not convicted- the county sheriff's office may not ever report the charges to the state police and the arrest/charge will not show up. That's why some districts choose to or are required to run checks at all levels if they can afford it. Of course, districts run other checks too due to state regulations such as checks at the federal (national) level, and the Sex offender registry but none of those checks would show something like a DUI arrest or conviction. It's a matter of what type/level of check, and which agency your fingerprints are submitted to, and that agency's database checked for any corresponding arrests matched to your prints. In short, I don't see a DUI arrest or conviction being a problem unless you tell them about it or the police reports it to your employer(s).
    :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2017

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