Before you may undergo certification as a teacher in Pennsylvania, you must pass a background check and answer a series of questions about your past. Whether you have “good moral character” is also a determining factor in terms of whether you become certified to teach within the state. This raises many questions about what offenses may call your character into question.
Many current and prospective teachers have concerns about whether a conviction for driving under the influence may raise questions about the integrity of your character. The Pittsburg Post-Gazette reports that there is not a hard, fast answer as to whether having a Pennsylvania DUI may prevent you from becoming a teacher. Instead, the answer is a bit more complex.
The good news
The good news is, a first-time Pennsylvania DUI conviction does not automatically mean you lack good moral character and are not going to be able to become a teacher. Research shows that the Pennsylvania Department of Education conducted some 1,900 reviews of prospective teachers over the last two decades.
Somewhere around 195 of those reviews involved prospective educators authorities arrested for drunk driving. The vast majority of them received teacher certifications, regardless.
The bad news
The bad news is, it is not outside the realm of possibility that you may not be able to become a Pennsylvania educator after a drunk driving conviction. Of those 195 or so reviews that involved prospective educators who had convictions for drunk driving, only 11 failed to receive certifications because of them.
The chances of you still being able to become a teacher in Pennsylvania after a drunk driving conviction increase if it was your first time facing such a charge.