Drinking and driving is a serious public health issue. For each day in 2014, an average of 29 vehicle crashes took place where one of the drivers had drunk alcohol prior. This information comes from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
Although a person arrested for drinking while under the influence of alcohol can face jail time and serious fines, there is another consequence often on the table: loss of employment. In fact, an employer can fire virtually anyone even for a first offense.
Professions most at risk
In the event a person’s job requires him or her to drive on the job, then that person would likely face termination of employment. The reason is that the state will suspend a person’s license after a DUI, and if an employee cannot perform the basic functions of a job, then firing is definitely a possibility.
There are also licensed professionals who need to maintain a stellar public record to maintain a license. This includes:
Some positions come with higher standards, and a boss may not want to hire an accountant who has a criminal background.
While doctors and lawyers face immediate termination of employment following a DUI, any job is at risk. People who work in the fast food industry and people with office jobs could face immediate termination after a DUI. Even though they may not drive as part of their job, it is up to the employer’s discretion as to whether the person should lose his or her job. The reason for this is that many people have “at will” employment. This means a boss can fire any employee from a company for any reason at any time. This also means people can quit at any time without necessarily providing two weeks’ notice. Even if a contract is in place, it may have a clause about how to deal with an employee with a criminal conviction.