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Drunk Driving and Child Custody

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If you have been arrested for drunk driving you may not be surprised to learn that you are facing thousands of dollars in fines and penalties in addition to the possibility that you may lose your license. But did you know that if you are going through a divorce a DUI conviction can cause additional DUI penalties that may not be monetary?

DUI and non-financial penalties

  If you have been convicted of a first, second or third drunk driving charge you may find that when you are seeking employment or education that employers or school administrators may pull your driving record and find out about your DUI. Additionally, some employers may deny you employment or impose other sanctions if you have been arrested for DUI. Did you also know that a drunk driving charge can affect your divorce? Our court system generally views any alcohol-related accident or conviction as evidence that you may not be a “fit” parent, and if you are in the middle of a contested divorce and hashing out the terms of your custody agreement with your spouse a drunk driving conviction may give them evidence that you should not have custody of your child. If you are a repeat offender or if you have had difficulty with alcohol in the past this can also be even more detrimental to your child custody case. Will this mean you will lose the right to partial or full custody? Not necessarily, but it does mean that if you have been arrested for drunk driving it is time to find the right drunk driving lawyer who can review your DUI charges and make sure you have a strong DUI defense. What if your divorce is uncontested or amicable? In this case a DUI conviction is less likely to result in a denial of child custody, but it is still important to get the best legal defense you can to fight your DUI charges.

Other considerations for a divorce

  If you have been arrested for DUI most likely you already feel shame and embarrassment and you are concerned about the legal and financial ramifications of a DUI conviction, but it may be time to get help, especially if you have children. As mentioned above, a DUI may impact your family, your job or your education. Some employers will require you to notify them if you have received a DUI conviction. Should you notify your divorce attorney too? Yes, if you have been convicted of DUI or if you have DUI charges pending it is important to explain the situation to your divorce attorney and make sure they understand all of the legal issues involved in your child custody agreement. Your divorce or DUI lawyer may also suggest taking an alcohol education class or joining Alcoholics Anonymous to prove to the court that you have taken proactive steps to fight your addictions and that you take the DUI charges seriously.

Getting your driving record expunged

  Under some conditions it may also make sense to talk to your DUI lawyer about having your records expunged. Some convictions cannot be expunged and the process is not free, but in the long run it may make sense to have your record sealed so that others cannot view your arrest record.
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