Driving under the influence is a serious conviction with heavy consequences, including incarceration, probation, fines, mandatory DUI education courses, and more. But DUI costs more than your criminal record; it can cost your reputation and even your job.
"I was arrested for drunk driving. Will I lose my job?" This is not a simple question. Every case is different. A DUI arrest doesn't mean you will lose your job; it means you could lose your job, especially in Georgia where employment is based on "at-will" employer-employee relationships. In short, your employer can fire you at any time, as long as the decision is not based on discrimination against race, religion, sexual preference, etc.
"At-Will" Employment and Drunk Driving
If you were arrested for driving under the influence, your employer can legally choose to terminate your job. However, law enforcement will not notify your employer of the arrest. Yes, arrests and court information are available to the public, but your boss probably won't see this information unless someone brings it to his / her attention.
If your employer finds out about the DUI, he / she will probably evaluate the following considerations:
- Does the company have a policy regarding DUI arrests and convictions?
- Have you demonstrated responsibility in your job? Is your employer happy with your work?
- Will your arrest / conviction influence your employer's / company's public image?
- How does your boss interpret the events of your DUI arrest / conviction?
For some companies, it is imperative for all employees to maintain a good public image. A DUI could compromise this image. If your boss believes that your arrest (and possible conviction) will damage the company's reputation, you could lose your job.
On the other hand, your company may not have a policy regarding DUIs. If it doesn't, the decision is left your boss, who will determine what is best for the business.
Many employers view DUI as a sign of immaturity and irresponsibility. These are not qualities fond in a good employee. If your boss is already unhappy with the quality of your work, a DUI could be one more reason to terminate your employment.
How can a lawyer help you keep your job?
A lawyer cannot guarantee continued employment after a DUI arrest. A legal advocate can, however, help you find the best solution to your DUI so you stand a better chance of avoiding conviction. At the Law Offices of Richard S. Lawson, we have nearly two decades of experience in the DUI defense field. Let us put it to work for your case! Our Atlanta DUI defense attorneys are here to help, so call our office today and schedule your first consultation with a lawyer from our firm.