Arrested for DUI, Will I lose My Job

You have just been arrested for a DUI, oh how your world is going to change. If you are convicted you will face fines, possible jail time and loss of your driving privileges. Will you lose you job as well? Anything is possible, if you need to be able to drive to do your job, it could be in jeopardy. Consult an experienced DUI attorney if you are arrested, you have so much to lose, make sure that you aren't convicted.

Well, that depends. I’m sure the politically correct answer would be a resounding, “No! It is unethical for a person to lose his/her job after getting a DUI. They can’t do that!” In reality, though, it may not be that simple. It does depend on your employer and if you have signed a contract that states specific terms of employment.

Workers in the public sectors (bus drivers, police officers, teachers) may be more apt to scrutiny. This may have to do with a “morality code” (possibly unwritten even) and a DUI is a sensitive issue due to the nature of these careers. Providing transportation, security, and education to the public makes a DUI charge more complicated than in other careers. DUI is widely regarded as a serious felony. If your profession is up for public examination, your DUI may affect your company’s reputation. A DUI may be considered by the public as “inappropriate behavior” for a particular position. For example, a police officer who protects us and arrests perps for DUI then is charged for one himself? Would you love the fact that your child’s kindergarten teacher got blitzed last night and was pulled over driving over the legal limit? Some of these scenarios are not spelled out in a contract, but nevertheless, may be enough for a termination per discretion of the employer.

While there are laws in place to punish DUI offenders, is there also reprimand at the work place? “Termination of Employment” is definitely not listed as a penalty upon being charged for a DUI, but if your job involves driving, you drive a company car, or to you drive to get to your job, a DUI can have a destructive impact on your employment if you lose your license. Let’s say a person is not able to drive themselves to work because of a DUI. Not technically because of the DUI, but because he/she is not able to perform work-related obligations and duties, might they be fired. Each profession and employer may be different, and your case is specific, so it is smart to seek the advice of an experienced attorney. It is possible to lose your job for being arrested and charged for DUI.

If you have worries and uncertainties about the possible impact of a DUI arrest or conviction may have on your career, you should seek advice of experienced DUI defense attorney. An attorney can help you with understand if there are any potential consequences of your arrest and discuss the best legal defense to the charge. Also an attorney can examine your company policy so that you know what action to take next in dealing with the DUI and your employer and give you the best representation for your situation. If you feel that you have been unfairly terminated or discriminated against due to a DUI charge, contact a knowledgeable attorney. There are grounds on which an employer can fire you following a DUI. Your attorney will be able to inform you of not only these, but of your rights at the workplace.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Parker Evan Bornmann, The Bornmann Law Group, PLLC
Parker Evan Bornmann is a practicing attorney in Arizona.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.

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