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Can A Georgia DUI Charge Cost Me My Job?

On Behalf of | Jul 21, 2023 | DUI |

When people get pulled over for drunk driving in Georgia, the first worries they have often relate to leaving their vehicle behind and possibly spending a night in jail. They may then worry about incarceration as a penalty for a driving under the influence (DUI) conviction. Those are reasonable concerns, as is any worry about whether their arrest will have an impact on their finances.

People often mistakenly think that pleading guilty is the best way to reduce the financial impact of a DUI arrest. They may fail to consider how a conviction could impact their careers. Obviously, those who drive for a living are at risk of losing their job after a Georgia DUI conviction. But do those who work jobs that do not involve driving also have to worry about losing their employment because of a DUI?

Georgia is an at-will employment state

There are many businesses that prefer not to have anyone on the payroll with a criminal record or pending criminal charges. The law in Georgia allows for at-will employment, which means that companies can terminate a worker’s employment arrangements for just about any reason or no reason at all.

Therefore, workers often find that their jobs are at risk after their arrest, especially if they miss a day of work because of it. Some workers will lose their job immediately after an arrest, and others will be at risk of termination after a conviction for a DUI offense. Even if they attempt to hide their arrest from their employer, the company may find out about a conviction when performing a background check related to an annual performance review or a pending promotion.

How can someone protect their employment?

Avoiding a DUI conviction is perhaps the only sure way to prevent a DUI from damaging someone’s career. Those who assert their innocence and defend themselves during a trial have a better chance of preserving their current job and eliminating long-term consequences for their careers related to a recent DUI arrest.

There are numerous possible defense strategies that can work for those accused of impaired driving in Georgia, including raising questions about the legality of a traffic stop. Understanding the possible consequences of a DUI arrest may help drivers in Georgia decide how to respond to their pending charges and to better safeguard their employment situation in the process.