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Do you have to tell your boss that you were arrested for DUI/DWI?

On Behalf of | Dec 15, 2022 | Firm News

A drunk driving arrest can have some immediate and significant effects on your life even before you have a court hearing, let alone been convicted. The most immediate one – aside from spending some time in a holding cell – is likely that police now have your driver’s license.  

If you’re looking at your first DUI/DWI arrest, it’s probably a traumatic event. You just have to take things one step at a time and not let it overwhelm you.  

One question many people ask is if they need to notify their boss. Most people don’t. There are some exceptions, but it’s your private life. As long as you’re not being held in jail for some reason and you can still find a way to get to and from work, you probably don’t have to tell them. That means don’t tell anyone else at work. Your boss shouldn’t be the last to know.  

When do you need to notify your employer of a DUI/DWI arrest and charge? 

There are some instances where your employer will need to know. For example: 

  • If you drive a company vehicle or a commercial vehicle 
  • If your employment contract requires you to report an arrest 

If your licensing board requires notification of an arrest, you at least have to report it to them. You’ll likely have to notify your employer as well. However, verify that with your board and your employment contract. 

What if you’re convicted? 

If you decide to plead guilty or are found guilty, that’s a different situation. You may have to serve time behind bars and potentially lose your license for months or longer. You’ll likely need to enroll in an alcohol education or treatment program and possibly do community service. You’ll want to see if you need to notify your employer at that point. Note that this doesn’t typically mean they have a right to fire you. 

Avoiding a DUI/DWI conviction is why it’s worthwhile to explore all of your options for possibly getting evidence against you thrown out or pleading guilty to a charge with less stigma attached, like reckless driving. 

Once you seek legal guidance, you’ll have a better idea of how to handle the charge – and any necessary notifications – so that you can minimize the effect on your life.