If you were arrested or convicted of a DUI, you are probably wondering if you should tell your employer. Or, more importantly, if you have to tell your employer?
In most cases, you do not have to inform your employer of a DUI charge. But, there are a few exceptions, including:
- If your job requires you to operate a vehicle.
- If you are contractually obligated to disclose your criminal record.
- Your employer states in their employee policy that DUI or criminal charges must be reported.
- Disclosing your criminal record is required to maintain a professional license.
We will go into further detail about when you must report a DUI below.
When You Have to Report a DUI
There are a number of circumstances when it may be necessary to disclose your DUI arrest or conviction to your employer. Please note that this information is not intended to give legal advice. You should always consult with an attorney to make the best decision for your particular circumstances.
You Are Required to Drive for Work
If you are a commercial driver or your job requires you to maintain a commercial driver’s license (CDL), then you are required to report DUI arrests to your employer. Examples of these types of jobs include:
- Postal workers
- Commercial truck drivers
- Air traffic controllers
- Bus drivers
Additionally, if your employer provides you with a company car, then you should also report your arrest. Employers will need this information for insurance purposes. Alternatively, you could request to use your own vehicle and be reimbursed for mileage; however, this may raise questions and you might find yourself having to tell your employer, anyway.
So, in general, if driving a vehicle is necessary to your job, it is best to report any DUIs and traffic violations to your employer.
You Are Contractually Obligated to Report Arrests
In some jobs, employees are contractually obligated to report any arrests or convictions, including DUIs. This is typically the case if you are under a government contract, are in active military service, or require background clearances, such as when working closely with children.
Additionally, there are particular circumstances when you may be under a labor contract with an employer. In these cases, too, it is important to check your contractual obligations regarding the reporting of arrests.
It Is Part of Your Employer’s Policy
There are also cases when an employer explicitly states that all employees must report DUIs, traffic citations, or other violations. In these situations, it is important to comply with any policies your employer has in place. If you fail to do so, you could lose your job.
You Must Maintain a Professional License
Some professionals that require licensure, such as doctors, nurses, and lawyers, may be required by their state to disclose any arrests when they apply for or renew their license, or at any point during the course of their licensure within their current state.
If this applies to you, it is important to review your state licensing board’s regulations for criminal record reporting. In some cases, you may not need to report arrests or convictions.
When Not to Tell Your Employer about Your DUI
Outside of the listed circumstances, it is unlikely you will have to tell your employer if you get a DUI charge. Unless disclosure of DUI or criminal charges is a requirement for your job, then it is up to you whether you tell your employer or not; it is entirely your own private business.
However, sometimes honesty can be the best policy. Keep in mind, if you are arrested and charged with driving under the influence, you will need to attend court dates and will likely want to meet with a lawyer. These tasks will probably conflict with your work schedule, and it may be easier to be honest with your employer upfront about what is going on.
Ultimately, the decision whether to tell your employer is one that will most often be left up to your best judgement. In some cases, it can be beneficial to not disclose your DUI, since your employer may be able to use it as grounds to fire you.
The Link Between DUI and Substance Abuse
Whether or not this is your first DUI, you will probably want to seek legal help, but it is important to also consider seeking treatment. DUIs, especially multiple ones, may be a sign of a substance use disorder.
While strict legal repercussions such as fines, license suspension, and even imprisonment can act as a powerful deterrent, you may find that your substance use has progressed to the point where you find it hard to cut back. In this case, a DUI treatment program can help build long-term success and recovery.
If you or a loved one have been court ordered to seek treatment following a DUI, or have voluntarily chosen treatment, consider Rehab After Work. Please connect with our admissions department to learn how we can help.