After being arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI), many people often wonder what this means for their employment. It may be possible to lose your job over this charge or for your employer to temporarily suspend you until a hearing is completed. However, you may be legally protected from this kind of backlash.
If you worry that you’ll lose your career over a drunk driving charge, reach out to a Louisiana DWI attorney. Attorney Eric Johnson may review your case thoroughly and guide you on how to approach the subject with your employer.
Do I Have to Disclose a DUI Charge to My Employer in Louisiana?
In many cases, you do not have to tell your manager that you were arrested for drunk driving. However, it all depends on your job and employee contract. Those who drive a vehicle for work will likely need to report the charge. In fact, some employee contracts require you to do so.
Keep in mind that newspapers have access to arrest records, and most print media outlets publish the names of those arrested weekly or daily. Even if you don’t disclose the information to your workplace, they may find out regardless. Depending on your situation, it might look better to your employer for you to acknowledge the charge before they find out through other sources. Coming clean to them soon after your arrest may help your chances of remaining employed.
You Have to Drive for Work
Commercial truck drivers, postal workers, or bus drivers will most likely need to report a DWI charge to their employer. Keep in mind that anyone who has a Louisiana driver’s license gives implied consent that allows police officers to administer a breath test if they have reasonable suspicions that you’re under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Failing the test may mean you lose your license. Additionally, if you are a commercial driver with a CDL, your charge may impact your ability to stay employed. Seeking the aid of a DUI defense lawyer is critical in these situations.
You’re Contractually Obligated to Report the Charge
In some cases, employers write into employee contracts that they must disclose they were charged with a crime. Government employees and teachers are typically the ones who have this clause in their contracts. In these situations, it’s best to follow employee policies. Failing to do so can result in termination.
How Can I Avoid Being Fired Over a DUI Charge?
Before employers can fire you, they typically have to weigh several factors. It’s important to remember that a charge is not a conviction. If you fight the charge and win, which would keep you from losing your license, your employer may decide to keep you on board. However, your manager may choose to place you on suspension until the conclusion of your case.
You may also avoid termination if your manager can find someone else to do your work while you do other tasks. If you drive with another employee, they can drive with you in the passenger seat and you can perform other duties. Even if you don’t lose your license or are able to obtain a hardship license, some employers may have you use an ignition interlock device for a time, even if the court does not require you to do so.
Your boss may also consider how long you’ve been at the company and your character when determining job status.
Will I Be Fired for a DUI Charge?
Ultimately, this decision falls on your employer. For example, if your career depends on you driving a car or truck, companies may have the grounds to fire you. If you fail to disclose the charge to your company when contractually obligated to, this could also result in termination. You may be more likely to lose your job if you receive the charge while in a company vehicle, and you may face additional hardship from the Office of Motor Vehicles that could prevent you from working as a commercial driver. Additionally, you might be at greater risk of losing your position if you don’t report your charge to your employer before they find out through another party.
Skilled DUI Attorneys in Louisiana Who Will Fight for Your Employment
Many factors determine whether you will lose your career over a DUI charge, which is why you should hire a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible after your arrest. At the John D. & Eric G. Johnson Law Firm, our mission is to represent Louisiana’s citizens and give you the most personalized experience to fight criminal offenses.
Attorney Eric Johnson has more than 20 years of experience representing DUI defendants throughout Louisiana, and will aggressively fight your charges, review your employment terms, and hold discussions with your employer about your job status on your behalf. Taking matters into your own hands can result in a criminal conviction and termination. Don’t risk your livelihood—partner with our attorneys.
Call (318) 377-1555 or complete a contact form to schedule your free consultation.