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Do I Have to Tell My Employer I’ve Been Charged with a DUI?


People who are arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of intoxicants often have lots of questions for attorneys. While many relate to how they can fight the charge or get the minimum punishment, others relate to their professional or personal lives. This is understandable since a DUI arrest or conviction isn’t only a legal matter. Employers and other people in society frown on people who drive while intoxicated. The effects of an accusation can be wide-ranging and even life-changing.

That’s why many accused people want to know if they have to disclose to their employers or prospective employers. We’ll explore just that in this blog post. However, you should seek personalized advice from a Portland DUI lawyer. Your attorney will help you with more than just navigating the courtroom. They will advise on how to make the best decisions going forward and protect your rights.

What You Should Do If You’re Employed and Arrested for a DUI

The decision you make will ultimately depend on your job and your company’s policies. Some employers state clearly in the employee handbook that workers must disclose any criminal charges. If reporting is mandatory and you fail to disclose, you risk losing your job.

Also, if you are employed as a driver or driving forms part of your work duties, you absolutely need to tell your employer. As a consequence of your arrest, your driver’s license will likely be suspended so you won’t be able to drive legally. Furthermore, if you have to install an ignition interlock device on your personal vehicle, you need to disclose that. Generally, you won’t have to install an IID on an employer’s vehicle but you need to inform them about the requirement. You also need to carry written proof that you notified your employer. Your Portland DUI lawyer can explain more about this.

Glasses of alcohol sitting on a table top.

Many people worry that their employer will fire them if they know that they were arrested for a DUI. However, it’s important to note that Oregon is an at-will state. If your contract states that your employment is at-will, you can be dismissed with or without reason. You would have little recourse. However, there are some contracts that say the employee can only be terminated for just cause. These contracts often set out what are acceptable reasons to fire the worker. If a DUI arrest or arrest, in general, is not specified, you may be able to fight the termination.

People charged with DUIs also worry about getting jobs in the future. There are state and city laws that govern how employers can conduct background checks. However, this is a separate matter. In the best-case scenario, if your charge is dismissed by the court, your record will be clean. If you’re eligible for the state’s DUII Diversion Program and you complete it, the charge will be dismissed. The arrest will remain on your record. However, finishing the program means you’ve had a substance abuse evaluation and you underwent treatment if necessary. This may help to influence a prospective employer’s opinion on your character.

Professional Licenses

Some types of workers may be dealt with more severely if they get arrested for a DUI. If you work in a profession that requires a license to operate, that license could be in jeopardy. Doctors, nurses, and physician assistants are among those who could have to fight hard to retain their right to practice. The Oregon Medical Board may not permanently revoke your license, but you could be disciplined in some way. You’ll need to work with an attorney to ensure your rights are protected.

Get Help from the Trilogy Law Group Today

A DUI arrest can impact your ability to earn a living and a conviction can make things even worse. If you’ve been arrested for driving under the influence of intoxicants, you need to contact our Portland DUI attorneys. We will do everything we can to help you avoid conviction. If that’s not possible, we’ll work to get you’re the lowest possible punishment. Our aim is to secure the best outcome given your specific circumstances. DUI arrests can be scary and confusing, but you won’t be alone during the process. If you need to speak to a lawyer in another practice area about your employment situation, we can refer you. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with our experienced lawyers.