One of the most direct ways that DUI convictions can impact a person’s employment is if their driver’s license is revoked. Atlanta is not a very public transportation-friendly city, so people who cannot drive are often at risk of losing their jobs. Although people’s attitudes toward the arrested person have softened quite a bit with so many DUI arrests happening over the last 15 or 20 years, there are still certain employers who will fire people for getting a DUI.
It is also important to remember that there is a requirement in Georgia that a person submits a demand for an MVA hearing within 10 days of being arrested or they face an automatic license suspension, and that will certainly impact most people’s jobs.
If a person is facing DUI charges in DeKalb County and are apprehensive about what may happen regarding their employment status, they should contact a DeKalb County DUI lawyer who can work with them to prepare their defense as well as begin planning for various employment outcomes.
Georgia is what is called a “right to work” state, where employers can fire an employee for almost any reason, outside of certain protected class issues, such as race, gender, and disability. However, there is nothing that says an employer cannot terminate someone’s employment as a result of the employee getting a DUI. Many employers have become more sympathetic to individuals who have had a DUI, and will not often use a single DUI charge as an excuse to fire an employee that they otherwise value.
The impact that a DUI arrest will have on an individual’s chances of getting a job depends in large part on the specific employer. Some employers are very harsh on potential employees and certain types of jobs absolutely will not want anyone who has had a DUI.
For example, many daycare facilities will not hire someone who has had a DUI. Delivery services and people who require professional drivers typically will not hire someone who has been charged with a DUI. Quite often, the employers will say it is not their own policy but it is the fact that their insurance provider will not cover a person who has been convicted of a DUI.
More and more employers are running background checks in DeKalb County, in large part because it is becoming easier to do on the internet. Previously, an employer would have to get a signed permission slip from the employee or the potential employee, take that to the police department, turn it in, and wait a couple of days to get a copy of the person’s criminal history. Now, those same records can be searched online for a small fee without getting the employee’s permission.
If a person has a DUI on their record and is applying for a job, they need to be prepared for the possibility of having to explain it. From previous client experience, when a person with a recorded DUI applies for a job, they will most often not be offered the job without knowing why. If a person is looking at a job that they really want and they know that the employer is going to request or do a background on them, they might want to go ahead and tell them about the DUI and explain to them the mitigating circumstances.
For example, if a DUI happened in college and the person has had a clean record since then, they may want to go ahead and show when and where they completed an alcohol education course or DUI school as well as counseling, and that they take it very seriously. Numerous employers now are becoming more sympathetic to a person who has been arrested for one DUI because so many people now are arrested for one DUI. It is not quite the problem that it was for a potential employee 15 years ago as the attitudes have softened quite a bit.