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Atlanta Criminal Defense Lawyers > Blog > DUI > Can I Lose My Job After Being Arrested for DUI in Georgia?

Can I Lose My Job After Being Arrested for DUI in Georgia?


For many Georgia residents, a drunk driving arrest will be the first–and hopefully only–time they interact with the state’s criminal justice system as a defendant. A DUI conviction carries a number of serious consequences, including possible jail time, fines, mandatory community service, and suspension of the defendant’s driver’s license. And even if the defendant is never convicted, the stigma of a DUI arrest alone may cause some degree of collateral damage.

How an Arrest Can Affect Your Status as an “At-Will” Employee

Indeed, a common question we get is, “Could my boss fire me for a DUI?” While every case and situation is different, there are a few general principles to keep in mind when examining this question. The first is that Georgia is considered an “at-will” state when it comes to employment. In simple terms, unless you have a contract specifying the terms and conditions of your employment, your boss is free to fire you at any time with or without giving a reason.

So as far as the law is concerned, an employer is free to terminate an at-will employee because they were arrested and charged with DUI. The employer does not even have to wait and see if the employee is convicted. At the same time, the employer is unlikely to act unless they are made aware of the arrest. Generally speaking, the police do not go around telling people’s employers that they have been arrested on suspicion of drunk driving. But it is easy enough for an employer to learn about an arrest from other sources, including other employees or social media.

It is also important to note that people employed in certain professions are subject to special scrutiny when it comes to DUI accusations. For example, a commercial truck driver is more likely to be fired for a DUI arrest or conviction than someone who works in a non-driving job. Similarly, someone employed in a sensitive position, such as a law enforcement officer, is more likely to be disciplined or fired for a DUI than most other workers.

Just recently, the Houston, Georgia, sheriff’s office fired a deputy after he was arrested and charged with DUI. The deputy was off-duty at the time and driving a personal vehicle. Even though the deputy has not yet been tried, the sheriff’s office told the press they terminated his employment “due to his probationary employee status.”

Contact Hawkins Spizman Today

Losing your job is just one potential adverse consequence of a DUI conviction in Georgia. This is why it is important to take appropriate steps to defend yourself against such charges and seek the best possible outcome under the law. Our Georgia Board certified DUI lawyers can help. Contact Hawkins Spizman today to schedule a free consultation. We serve clients throughout Georgia including Atlanta, Dunwoody, Alpharetta, Cobb County, Fulton County, Gwinnett County, Johns Creek and Sandy Springs.



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