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Can You Be Fired From Your Job for a DUI Conviction?

Posted on May 26, 2023 in DUI

Being convicted of the crime of driving under the influence, or DUI, in Arizona can have wide-ranging consequences. A DUI could affect your career and may lead to job termination. Arizona is an “at-will” employment state, meaning workers can be fired for DUIs and other criminal convictions. For this reason, it is important to contact a Chandler DUI defense attorney immediately if you have been arrested for this crime.

What Does it Take to Be Convicted of a DUI?

The crime of driving under the influence, as defined in Arizona Revised Statute, Section 28-1381, is to drive or be in actual physical control of a vehicle while under the influence. This means while impaired to the slightest degree by an intoxicating liquor, any drug, a vapor-releasing substance containing a toxic substance or any combination thereof. 

If a driver has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level at or above 0.08 percent within two hours of driving or being in actual physical control of a vehicle, he or she will be presumed intoxicated in Arizona. However, it is possible to be convicted of a DUI with a lesser BAC if the driver is impaired. While there is any drug listed in Section 13-3401 in the individual’s system, this is also a presumed DUI.

To convict an individual of driving under the influence in Arizona, the prosecution must have enough evidence to prove that the defendant committed this crime beyond a reasonable doubt. They may support this claim using evidence such as BAC test results and footage from the police officer’s body camera during the arrest. The defendant or defense attorney will have the opportunity to try to show that the prosecution has not met the burden of proof.

Arizona Is an At-Will Employment State

If you are convicted of driving while intoxicated by drugs and/or alcohol in Arizona, you could lose your job. People in Arizona are employed at will, meaning they can be fired for any reason or no reason at all, at any time and without warning. In exchange, workers in Arizona can quit their jobs without giving a reason or two-week notice. As long as the termination is not for a prohibited reason, such as discrimination or retaliation, the worker cannot take legal action against the employer for being fired. This includes job termination due to a DUI conviction.

Your Job and a DUI Conviction

Whether or not you get fired from your job after getting a DUI can depend on the type of job you have. If driving is central to your position – for instance, if you are a truck driver or delivery driver – you can probably expect to lose your job after being convicted of a DUI. Driver’s license suspension is a common penalty associated with a DUI conviction in Arizona. If, however, you do not have to drive for work or need a valid driver’s license for your job, you may not be terminated. 

In addition, it may go against company protocol to retain a worker with a DUI on his or her record. Your future at a company after a DUI conviction will depend on its employment policies for criminal convictions. Trucking companies, for example, are required by federal law not to hire or retain truck drivers with recent DUIs on their records. Uber and Lyft also have policies against hiring drivers with DUI convictions in the prior seven years. Read the employment policy at your position to see if a conviction will be an issue. If you get convicted of a felony DUI, such as an aggravated DUI, this could also limit your future employment opportunities.

Fighting Against Driver’s License Suspension During a DUI Case

If you need a valid driver’s license to get to and from work or keep your job after being arrested for an alleged DUI in Arizona, contact an attorney at Rosenstein Law Group to help you fight against driver’s license suspension. You must request a driver’s license hearing within 10 days of your DUI arrest. We can attend the hearing on your behalf to help you keep your driving privileges while a DUI case is pending. We can also go over the option of having a DUI conviction set aside or expunged to help you with future career opportunities.

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