If you get pulled over because the police suspect that you are driving under the influence, your first concern is likely that you are going to get arrested. You may have to call someone and have them pick you up. It can damage your reputation, and you may end up having to pay fines or even lose your driver’s license.
But for many people, their concerns go even further than this. They may be worried about their professional reputation or concerned that they’re going to get fired if they are convicted of those drunk driving charges. This could derail their entire career and, in this way, could cost them vastly more than any fines or fees that they have to pay. Can this happen?
It is not guaranteed, but it is possible
There’s no guarantee that you’ll be fired over a DUI. It’s not a requirement or a legal punishment. Many people have DUIs on their records and they do not lose their jobs or suffer any ramifications outside of the legal system.
But it technically could happen. Many companies will have a conduct policy that employees have to follow, and they can be fired for breaking it. For instance, perhaps you have an employment contract stating that an arrest can lead to termination. Your employer could certainly choose to do so.
Even if you’re an at-will employee, without a contract, that doesn’t protect you. At-will employees can be fired for any reason, as long as it isn’t illegal – such as racial discrimination. As such, the company has complete discretion to decide to fire or retain employees who have been arrested.
What this means is that a DUI can have long-lasting ramifications. It’s very important to understand all of the legal defense options you have if you are facing arrest.