Many people charged with a DUI don’t fully realize the extent of the potential consequences for their actions. Beyond a fine or a license suspension, drivers also face potential jail time an insurance increases. One particularly unexpected result of a DUI conviction is the loss of your job.
It may not feel right that a person could be fired for being charged with a DUI, however employers are well within their rights to do so as long as the termination is not based on discrimination and doesn’t violate the terms of your employment contract. There are a variety of grounds on which this can be justified. If your job requires driving, the suspension of your license equates to a failure to perform your duties, and you can be terminated. This also applies if your vehicle is impounded and you are unable to get to work. Your employer is also not required to hold your position for you while you complete any jail time, community service, or drivers courses that accompany your conviction. If the position you hold requires you to be in the public eye, you may be terminated simply to protect your employer’s reputation.
If you’re still in school, you may also face consequences that could affect your enrollment. Each university has different policies on criminal behavior that can go as far as expulsion. Furthermore, your eligibility for federal student loans may be compromised with a criminal charge.
Ultimately, there are no laws that protect those charged with a DUI from being fired. For some companies, such action is mandatory. If your employer enforces any rules that may result in your termination should you be charged with a DUI, or if you feel that your employment may be affected by any of the common penalties that accompany a DUI conviction, it is critically important to seek the assistance of a DUI lawyer to protect your livelihood and work to get the punishments that may affect it dropped.