Will a teaching credential be revoked upon the conviction of a DUI?
DUI and the Teaching Credential
Driving Under the Influence (DUI) charges are on the rise. The State of California is cracking down and all counties are initiating more checkpoints and “Saturation Patrols” (cops on patrol looking for drunk drivers, roving throughout their territory). Many teachers, who have never been in trouble, are finding themselves arrested due to driving after a couple drinks. They are worried about losing their credential, which would result in the loss of their jobs. If this applies to you, then you need to consult an experienced DUI lawyer immediately!
Teaching Credential and the 1st DUI Conviction
The California Commission on Teaching Credentialing (CCTC) is very specific about which convictions will result in the loss of a credential. The CCTC conducting research which indicated that 28.61% of the reports to the Commission were for first time alcohol related convictions, which includes DUI, wet reckless and drunk in public charges. (http://www.ctc.ca.gov/commission/agendas/2012-01/2012-01-4D.pdf PPC 4D-1)
The Commission will look at the connection between the conviction and the duties to be performed at work. Normally, there is no connection. Getting arrested after a couple drinks on a Saturday night does not directly relate to the teacher’s ability to teach on Monday morning. However, there are factors to consider: whether the teacher was a chaperone at a school trip or function when arrested, whether the teacher was driving a school vehicle, etc. The CCTC will review the facts surrounding the arrest when coming to a decision. ( http://www.ctc.ca.gov/educator-discipline/FAQ.html#GEN)
Teaching Credential and the 2nd DUI Conviction
Under Education Code section 44421, “the Commission shall privately admonish, publicly reprove, revoke or suspend for immoral or unprofessional conduct, or for persistent defiance of, and refusal to obey, the laws regulating the duties of persons serving in the public school system, or for any cause that would have warranted the denial of an application for a credential or the renewal thereof, or for evident unfitness for service.” (http://law.onecle.com/california/education/44421.html)
Education Code section 44345(c) allows the Commission to deny an application for a credential or renewal of a credential if the person “is addicted to the use of intoxicating beverages to excess.” (http://law.onecle.com/california/education/44345.html) This means that the CCTC must look at the facts of the case, and the person in general, to decide whether they have an alcohol addiction.
The best way to safeguard your credential is to vigorously fight the DUI charge. However, if you lose your case and are convicted, there are ways to fight to keep your credential. You are allowed to present letters of rehabilitation and other documentation to prove that you are not addicted to any substance. (http://www.ctc.ca.gov/educator-discipline/FAQ.html#GEN) This is key in fighting to keep your credential, and why you should consult an attorney.
Contact the Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache, a criminal defense firm, if you have any questions about the impact of a DUI on a teaching credential.
Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache
A Criminal Defense Firm
PO Box 3297
Palm Springs, CA 92262
Office: (760) 237-8295
Cell: (760) 668-8295