Can You Be a Teacher With a DUI in Washington State?
A DUI conviction can complicate your teaching career and damage your prospects, but it doesn’t necessarily have to.
In Washington State, teachers must hold a license to be employed as an educator. In many cases, those licensed teachers are also members of teaching unions and hold contracts with the districts that employ them individually. The impact of a DUI conviction could be far-reaching, and it can be confusing because there are multiple authorities at play. Let’s spell this one out.
Teaching License - Governed by WA State
The Washington State laws that concern an individual’s ability to hold a Teaching License excludes individuals with any criminal charge within the last 10 years, the nature of which would impair the individual’s ability to serve as a professional within the school system.
The law allows the licensing body to determine on a case by case basis if the nature of a law violation should prohibit you from holding a teaching license. The Superintendent of Public Instruction weighs your case by a number of factors, including the nature and motivation of the crime, mitigating factors, and evidence of good moral character and personal fitness to serve.
This means a conviction may not automatically end your teaching dreams! It also means the steps you take to resolve your case can directly impact the outcome of your career. For this reason, it is critically important that your case is handled proactively and as soon as possible by an experienced, dedicated team with the skills to protect what matters most to you.
Teaching Contract - Governed by Teaching Unions & School Districts
Most teachers in Washington State hold a contract with the district that employs them. These contracts are negotiated by teachers’ unions that work to protect the rights and interests of educators within the public or private school sector.
Whether your DUI conviction will impact your employment will depend on the specific language in your contract. Some contracts mandate certain morality and behavioral conduct by the teacher, others do not.
It is important to understand the rights and responsibilities you’ve agreed to within your employment contract. If you are unsure of how to find this information, speak confidentially with your union representative and an experienced DUI attorney for support before you discuss your case with your employer.
Knowing When to Ask for Help? Now That’s Smart.
If you’ve been arrested or charged with DUI, your career and reputation are on the line. You don’t have to defend them alone. Call 1-800-DUI-HERO to discuss your situation with a licensed attorney today.