Perhaps unsurprisingly, an average of 1.5 million people in the US are arrested for drink driving in any given year according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This type of offence would be difficult for anyone to overcome, least of all for a small business owner, especially given the global effects in the current economic climate for small businesses. A charge of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) can cause serious worries and problems which potentially affect both the running of a business and its reputation to clients. Fortunately, there are ways to recoup loss of image and the impact it has on a business.
Consequences of a lenient conviction
After a DUI has been issued, a license will be revoked which can make it very awkward to run a business in terms of traveling to the premises, delivering products or meeting clients. The good news is that the courts can take into consideration factors such as Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) and whether it is a first offence. A partner of attorney firm Tait and Hall explains that convicted small business owners may be eligible to receive a lower fine and a minimum sentence providing the BAC is below the legal limit and whether there are previous convictions of the driver.
Outcomes of major sentencing
A more serious conviction could end up with spending time in jail or the imposition of probation conditions depending on state laws. For example, Arizona has some of the harshest DUI laws in the country so a jail sentence is likely. As a business owner, there could be options to employ extra staff to manage the workplace in your absence and even have possibilities to micro-manage from inside jail. Probation sentences can mean disruption to regular working patterns by means of meetings with a probation officer, community service or attending alcohol counseling sessions. This can overcome by rescheduling appointments, deliveries, etc, or having another employee to carry these duties.
Recovery from the social stigma
There is a good chance that a reputation might be damaged after a DUI conviction and this could be extended to clients using a business. However, sending the message out that you are genuine in your mistake will go a long way to combating any negative stigma. Ways of showing this could include donating money to an alcohol support charity or offering to talk about the dangers of driving under the influence to local schools or colleges.
Despite the initial concerns that a DUI conviction can feel like the end of the world, as long as you have a great legal team and you handle the conviction accordingly, it is entirely possible for a small business owner to recover.