A person who has a teaching credential in the state of California should be aware of the ramifications of a DUI conviction and how it effects their teacher’s credential. For everyone charged with DUI, there are criminal court consequences and DMV consequences. For teachers, the California Commission on Teaching Credentialing can also effect that person if they are charged with DUI.
Criminal Court and DMV consequences:
For a first offense DUI, a person who is charged with DUI faces:
-Permanent criminal record
-Mandatory Alcohol Education classes
-Fines, court penalty charges and fees (totaling approximately $3000 for a first offense DUI)
-Possible jail time (certain counties such as Ventura are harsh and impose jail time, even on first offender DUI cases)
-The mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) on their car
-Driver’s License Suspensions from DMV up to 4 months, with restrictions on where a person can drive for up to 6 months.
California Commission on Teaching Credentialing:
The California Commission on Teaching Credentialing is governed by sections in the Education Code starting at Section 44000 and has certain reporting requirements that teachers must comply with. Teachers must report DUI convictions when applying for or renewing their teaching credentials. Upon self reporting, the Commission will make a thorough review of the case against the teacher and determine whether certificate action is needed.
Issues the commission looks for are:
-The blood alcohol level of the driver/teacher
-The circumstances of the arrest
-Whether drugs were involved in the arrest
The Commission is looking for issues related to the teacher that show they are un-fit to be a teacher. Substance abuse problems, alcohol dependency, unwillingness to accept responsibility are all issues that the Commission will look for. A conviction for DUI isn’t an automatic grounds for disqualification if the teacher can show they do not have a substance abuse problem and are fit to continue teaching.