Even a first DUI can result in career consequences

Last month, Tennessee police got a call that there was a parked school bus in a parking lot with the driver inside. When authorities reported to the location and approached the bus driver, they had reason to begin a drunk driving investigation.

A breath test allegedly indicated that the 39-year-old bus driver had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.09, minimally above the legal limit. She was charged with a first-offense DUI and has since decided to plead guilty to the offense.

Exactly why this particular defendant chose to plead guilty depends on her specific situation and comfort level regarding the details of the case. The decision to plead guilty was hopefully made with the honest advice of an experienced DUI defense attorney.

Any actions that a defendant takes during a drunk driving investigation and during the case itself have a significant impact on their future. The bus driver has no other DUIs on her record; yet the conviction of a first offense still comes with severe consequences.

By pleading guilty, the parties agreed that the now former bus driver would serve the minimum 48 hours in jail that all first-time offenders must serve under Tennessee DUI law. She also paid a fine of $350, which is less than the $1,800 that the court could have required.

The jail term and the money will be spent and put behind the defendant. But her first DUI offense is on her record to stay. Particularly because she was a school bus driver, the defendant is likely to have a hard time finding work after this legal hardship.

Fighting against a DUI charge is an effort to protect one’s freedom, both in terms of jail time but also professionally.

Source: wbbjtv, “Former school bus driver pleads guilty to DUI,” May 2, 2013

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