A conviction for driving under the influence can have several long-lasting consequences, for instance, the DUI stays on your driving record for 10 years and it will cause your auto insurance premiums to rise steeply. A DUI can also cost you your job.
Will you automatically be fired because of a DUI? It depends on the circumstances of your case. Will you go to jail? Do you have to drive for your job? Does your credibility at work rely on a spotless reputation in your personal and professional life?
Let’s say that you work for a prescription drug manufacturer and every day you have to drive to doctors’ offices to market different medications and deliver free samples of your product.
You were recently arrested for DUI after celebrating your job promotion. You weren’t working at the time of your arrest, or driving a company car. Now, you’re worried about your job. If your boss finds out about your DUI, can he fire you?
California’s Employment Laws
Mostly likely, your employer can fire you if he wishes. Under California’s Labor Code, California is an “at will” state. What does that mean? It means that your employer may terminate you at any time, with or without cause.
However, they cannot fire you for discriminatory reasons, for example, because of your race, religion, disability, or sexual orientation, nor can they fire you because you refuse to carry out orders which would be breaking the law. Fire you because of a DUI?
Unfortunately, a criminal conviction or a DUI does not preclude you from being fired. In your case, a DUI conviction can lead to incarceration and a suspended license, both of which can certainly affect your ability to perform your job-related duties.
If you’re lucky, you have a very understanding boss who will be patient with you and make every attempt to accommodate you during this difficult time. On the other hand, if your employer is unsympathetic or has a zero tolerance policy for criminal behavior, you may be out of luck.
You’re not only facing a DUI conviction, but the crime can directly affect your job. In this situation, your employer has every right to terminate your employment based on a DUI conviction. That being said, your best strategy is to fight the DUI in an effort to avoid a conviction, and we can help you with that endeavor.
The best way to protect your job is to fight your DUI charges. Contact our Orange County DUI defense firm to see how we can help!