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Can I Lose My Job for Drunk Driving?

6 min read
Philip Ahn, Attorney

by Philip Ahn, Attorney

If you have been arrested or convicted of driving under the influence (DUI), you may be wondering if you can lose your job. The answer is YES. The consequences of a DUI arrest or conviction can be very harsh, and can include a loss of employment and even future employment prospects. 

A DUI arrest is a public record that may appear on the internet, in the newspaper, or be shared with the public, and can negatively impact your personal and professional reputation. Depending on your case, an experienced DUI attorney can do a number of things to help.

The right lawyer can guide you through the DUI process, protect your rights, and help you mitigate the consequences of your arrest. Our network of lawyers understands the potentially overwhelming consequences of a DUI conviction, and knows that a successful resolution relies on the best legal counsel.

Consequences of a DUI Conviction

Mandatory penalties for a DUI conviction can amount to thousands of dollars in fines and lost income. You must also factor in court costs and other fees, such as for DUI school, and understand that with multiple DUI charges, these costs will increase.

A DUI conviction comes with hidden costs that people often overlook. In the end, the true financial cost of a DUI conviction can be tens of thousands of dollars. 

You can be incarcerated for a first-time DUI in some states, and your driver’s license may be suspended for up to 12 months or more. You will be seen as a liability in the eyes of your insurance carrier, so the cost of your car insurance will likely increase, or your employer may drop you from their insurance altogether. 

Other costs of a DUI conviction include damage to your personal and professional reputation or standing in the community. A DUI conviction may also have a negative impact on your business and income, and you may lose your occupational license and the career you spent a lifetime building. 

What Happens When You Are Charged with a DUI

If you have been charged with DUI, realize that certain DUI arrest penalties will begin very quickly. To begin with, a DUI arrest may include the cancellation of your driving privileges.

Your initial DUI citation can leave you with a temporary driving permit, valid for a limited number of days following your arrest. If you don’t attend an administrative license hearing within those limited number of days following the arrest, your license may be suspended automatically.

An experienced DUI defense attorney can examine the details of your arrest and help you explore your options and the possibilities of keeping your license at your hearing. 

These important details of your arrest could prove helpful in your DUI case:

  • The initial reason you were given for the stop
  • If the field sobriety tests were properly administered
  • If any breath or blood test was properly processed 

These, along with several other potential issues, may be crucial to a strong defense against a DUI charge. 

How a DUI Can Affect Your Job

A DUI is a criminal offense that can affect your employment and career prospects. But, the actual impact will vary from state to state and from occupation to occupation, for example:

  • Pilots and those who have FAA clearance must report the conviction themselves, then participate in a fitness investigation afterward. 
  • Teachers and other school employees may lose their teaching certificates and are often fired as a result of a DUI conviction. 
  • Pharmaceutical representatives and other salespeople may be fired because they will be unable to drive with a suspended license, be kept on the company’s insurance, or drive a company car.
  • Military personnel can be denied a promotion, transferred to another duty station, or in some cases, be discharged as a result of a DUI conviction. 
  • Those who have a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and receive a DUI conviction will lose their CDL. When that happens, their employer may fire them for cause, which will limit their ability to claim unemployment in some states. 
  • Licensed healthcare professionals, lawyers, and accountants must report a DUI conviction to the licensing board, and may be investigated. Depending on the severity of their case, they could lose their occupational license or receive a disciplinary reprimand. In addition, they will probably be required to attend a substance-abuse course and undergo a drug and alcohol evaluation with recommended treatment. 

 In these cases, not reporting a DUI conviction to the proper authorities could get a person into more trouble. 

How a DUI Defense Attorney Can Help 

The laws governing drunk driving are technical and can be confusing. Even though drunk driving has been illegal for decades, these laws are constantly changing. For example, drunk driving laws have changed substantially in recent years, with some states requiring an ignition interlock device for a first offense.

A DUI arrest is a traumatic experience that can severely disrupt your life. A good DUI attorney can make your life easier during this challenging process. Sound legal counsel can shield you from much of the worry, stress, and aggravation of your case and keep you from spending countless hours in court and missing work.

In most states, the public risks of drunk driving have caused police, prosecutors, and politicians to treat all DUI arrest charges seriously, and the penalties for a conviction increase every year. And since a DUI conviction will surface on a background check, it can have a devastating effect on a person’s job opportunities and personal life.

For these reasons, it is important that anyone who is charged with DUI have their arrest details examined by an experienced attorney as soon as possible, even if it is your first offense.

Once an experienced DUI defense lawyer from your area examines your arrest details, they can advise you about your chances of successfully fighting the charges based upon the unique circumstances of your case. Remember, you are still presumed innocent until proven guilty in court.

Your attorney will attend court appearances associated with your case. Your attorney can draft and file an appeal letter to stop your driver’s license from being suspended, and can attend a hearing on your behalf. Your lawyer can also demand all documents in the prosecution’s possession that are essential to your case. 

Once your attorney receives these documents, they will file various motions on your behalf, such as motions to suppress the evidence, motions to dismiss the charges, and other motions to limit the state’s ability to convict you.

If you have been arrested for DUI, hiring a DUI attorney will not only make your life easier, it can also change the outcome of your case. A good DUI attorney will be able to answer all of your questions, address your concerns, and put your mind at ease. 

Our network of seasoned DUI lawyers will fight to win your case and to get the charges against you reduced or even dismissed, so that you can keep your job and get on with your life. 

Contacting a DUI Defense Lawyer

If you have been charged with DUI, hire an experienced DUI defense attorney and take the necessary steps to mitigate the consequences, which may include losing your job.

The right attorney will evaluate the circumstances of your arrest and develop a strategy to give you the best chance to avoid a conviction and lose your job, occupation, and future prospects.

You don’t want to face a DUI charge alone. Request a locally-licensed DUI attorney who can be with you from start to finish.

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