Can I Get Fired for a DUI?
If you are employed and were recently arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) on your personal time, you may be wondering, “Can I get fired for getting a DUI, even though it happened when I wasn’t working?”
Most DUI defendants were not working when they were arrested for DUI. This is because people tend to drink the most during the evenings and on weekends. For example, a guy or gal will drink at a bar on a Friday or Saturday night with friends and they’ll get arrested on their drive home.
Can a DUI on your personal time cause you to get fired? Unfortunately, yes, it is possible. Like most states, Florida is an “at-will” employment state, which means your employer can fire you at any time for any reason, with the exception of discrimination (e.g. firing you because of a disability, your race, religion, or sexual-orientation). A DUI arrest or conviction does NOT count as “discrimination” under federal law.
Do I Have Any Legal Protections?
I get it, your job is important. You need it to pay your bills and if you’re convicted of DUI, potentially the costs of fines, an Ignition Interlock Device (IID), DUI School, and those skyrocketing insurance premiums that you can look forward to.
Are there any legal protections that can help you keep your job? In the face of DUI charges, there aren’t any. If an employer doesn’t approve of an employee’s DUI arrest and/or conviction, they have the right to fire them under Florida’s at-will employment law.
However, not all employers will fire an employee because he or she is arrested for, or convicted of DUI. Much of it depends on the employer’s view on DUIs, whether the DUI is “bad for business,” and the employer’s relationship with the employee facing DUI charges. Some employers will let a DUI slide, while others will fire an employer with a DUI arrest or conviction. It all depends on the employer.
Get Yourself a Defense Lawyer
If you’re facing DUI charges, the best way to protect your job and your career is to hire a skilled DUI defense attorney, which I can help you with! To start learning about your legal defenses, contact my firm today for a free case evaluation.