Will You Lose Your Job Because of Your DWI?
There are many ways that being convicted of or even just charged with driving while intoxicated can affect your life. One of the most pressing questions that people ask is “Will I lose my job?” That is an issue that your employer, and not a criminal court, will decide. Most employers in Texas hire workers “at will,” meaning that your employer can terminate your employment at any time and without needing to give a cause – as long as the decision is not based on discriminating against protected traits such as race or gender. For many employers, a DWI conviction or arrest may be enough of a reason to fire an employee.
Your job will likely be in peril if you are sentenced to jail or prison as part of your DWI conviction. The punishment for a first-time DWI conviction can include three to 180 days in prison and may include more time if there are aggravating factors such as a blood alcohol concentration of 0.15 or over. Your employer does not have to preserve your job while you are incarcerated. Even if your employment contract protects your job, it may have a clause that voids the contract if you are convicted of a crime.
A DWI can affect your driving privileges from the moment you are arrested:
- Your driver’s license will be automatically suspended for 90 days if a test shows that your BAC level is over the legal limit or for 180 days if you refuse to take the test.
- If you are convicted, the state may suspend your license for even longer or allow you to drive with an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle.
- Your commercial driver’s license will be suspended for a year if you fail or refuse a BAC test and will be disqualified if you are convicted of DWI.
Workers whose jobs require a commercial license are the most vulnerable to losing their jobs because of a DWI arrest or conviction. For others, getting to and from work may be more difficult but will not necessarily prevent them from holding down a job.
Some employers are less tolerant of having employees who are accused or convicted of DWI. People with jobs in healthcare and education are held to a higher standard of conduct because they are trusted with the wellbeing of others. A DWI conviction could also harm the professional reputation of someone who has worked their way into a high-level position within an organization.
Contact a San Antonio DWI Defense Attorney
When you face a DWI charge, your top priority is to protect yourself against a conviction or other consequences. A San Antonio DWI defense lawyer at the Law Offices of Sam H. Lock will work towards getting your charge dismissed or obtaining a not guilty verdict in court. To schedule a free consultation, call 888-726-5625.