Employed teachers’ in Pennsylvania who have been convicted of certain types of DUI offenses could potentially lose their jobs due to a recently passed law in Pennsylvania. The new law is aimed at protecting children’s safety but it simultaneously could penalize certain already employed individual teachers, janitors, and other school workers.
Prospective Teachers Ineligible for Employment in Schools for Three Years
The law states that the person who has been convicted: “shall be eligible for prospective employment only if a period of three years has elapsed from the date of the expiration of the sentence for the most recent offense.”
The new law does not require employed teachers to be terminated for past DUI convictions. However, the new law certainly will not protect a teacher with a past DUI conviction if the school does terminate him or her as a result.
Then the teacher will be in the position of needing to seek employment at another school, and here’s where the problems are exacerbated. That teacher must wait out an automatic period of three years of ineligibility for employment at any school – and this is three years beyond the fulfillment of the DUI sentence.
Here’s another troubling example. Let’s say John Smith, age 18, was convicted of a second-offense DUI in 2012 and received a five-year-punishment. By age 22, in 2016, he had successfully completed an alcohol treatment program and had earned his teaching degree. He still would not be eligible to teach until the law’s ineligibility period ran out, in 2020.
If you have been arrested for a DUI in Pennsylvania, the stakes are too high for you not to fight the charges.