If you have been arrested, charged, and convicted of a DUI, it is understandable that you may be concerned about your job. Depending upon the type of job and/or the company’s policies, being arrested could result in immediate dismissal. So, the question is, will your boss find out if you are arrested for a DUI?
The honest answer is, “it depends.” First, consider the type of job you have and the penalties and fines for DUI in your state. If you drive for your job as a requirement, it will be very hard to hide the arrest from your employer. First, most states have some type of suspension as well as requiring an ignition interlock device to operate the vehicle. Either of this will require notification to your employer.
There is also the issue of insurance if you are required to drive for the job. Most insurance companies will dramatically increase coverage rates for anyone having been arrested for a DUI. In fact, your company may have a policy in place that does not allow drivers with a DUI to even operate a company vehicle.
If the above does not hold true for your job, you are under no obligation to tell your employer that you have been arrested for a DUI unless your employment handbook or contract requires you to do so. However, arrest records are public record and are often published in local papers. Even if your employer does not scan the paper for this information, the company may periodically run criminal histories on its employees, at which time this would be revealed. Company policy will dictate disciplinary action at this point.
There is another consideration, however, that could become an issue with your employer. If the case has not gone through the court systems yet, you will more than likely need time off to attend the hearings. Or, if the case has been heard and you have lost, some type of educational classes or counseling may be required as part of your sentencing. If the classes are taking place during your normal working hours, you will have to get time off and give your employer a reason for needing so much extra time away from work.
Last, but certainly not least, if you have been found guilty, you will more than likely have a parole officer to whom you must report. Parole officers are permitted to call your place of employment to verify work status. You may want to weigh the pluses and minuses of actually informing your employer or having them find out by a random phone call. The best course of action may be to call your corporate human resources department anonymously for more information as to how your company specifically addresses this type of situation.