A DUI — even an arrest without an eventual conviction — can cost you your job, regardless of what you do for a living. Of course, people whose jobs involve driving are most at risk.
If you’re a commercial truck driver or a limousine driver, for example, your employer may be able to fire you simply based on a DUI arrest. Here in Maryland, your commercial driver’s license (CDL) can be “disqualified” for a DUI, even if you haven’t been convicted, if you were arrested while driving a commercial vehicle. Of course, a conviction could cost you your CDL and your career.
If you have a job that requires a security clearance because you’re handling sensitive or confidential information, a DUI conviction could result in termination. The reasoning is that you’ve shown a lapse in judgment that affects your trustworthiness.
If your job comes with a code of conduct that you’re expected to follow even when you’re outside of work, you could also face termination. There may be limits to the fireable offenses for public employees, such as public school teachers. However, these don’t apply to private employees. If you have a job where you publicly represent a company or other organization, your employers may determine that you’re actions reflect badly on them.
Even if none of these situations apply to you, just the time away from work and inability to drive for a time can jeopardize your job. Even if you’re able to avoid spending more than a day or two in jail, court time, community service and other legal obligations associated with your arrest can present an inconvenience to your employers that they may not tolerate.
It’s best to seek your Maryland DUI attorney’s advice before informing your employer of a DUI arrest. Your attorney can work to get your driving privileges back, at least to go to and from work, as soon as possible and help you minimize time away from your job. These things can lessen the chances of losing your livelihood on top of everything else you’re facing.