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Wisconsin OWI laws are getting stiffer—one’s second and third charges are misdemeanor crimes, while the fourth charge is a felony. Receiving even just one OWI is a big step in a difficult direction.

But that is the criminal aspect of an OWI—what about the civil and personal problems that can arise from such an offense? If you find yourself wondering if an OWI can prevent you from getting a job, we have the answer below.

Can an OWI Prevent You from Getting a Job?

A broader version of a DUI, an OWI will not necessarily prevent someone from getting a job, but it does not help. Just one conviction should act as a catalyst to reexamine lifestyle habits, as these charges can impact current or future employment statuses. Here are a few ways an OWI arrest or conviction can impact your ability to get a job.

It May Appear During a Background Check

Potential employers in Wisconsin cannot ask about your conviction record. However, if they perform a background check, any charges to your name will come out—including any recent OWI charges. Drunk driving charges can stay on your record for a few years, especially if you have more than one. So, although an initial interview might go well, any OWI convictions that show up during your background check could work against you.

You May Lack Transportation

More often than not, if you receive an OWI, you also lose your license. If public transportation is available, this may not affect your job prospects much, but this can greatly impact your ability to perform necessary employment duties.

You May Miss A Lot of Work

If you have more than one OWI, necessary court appearances are normal. Most often, these will take place during regular business hours. If you’re convicted, you may be required to undergo substance abuse counseling—and your employer may hold this time off work against you.

So, if you’re wondering if a drunk driving conviction can impact your job prospects, the answer is yes. However, being open and honest about your transgressions and showing how you’ve overcome them is the best you can do. No matter the situation, you shouldn’t let your mistakes deter you from finding a stable job.

Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.