Will you lose your job because of a DWI?

On Behalf of | Nov 4, 2022 | Criminal Defense |

Facing DWI charges also leaves you facing a long list of questions. What happens now? How can you protect your future? One common worry that many share in these situations is how drunk driving charges affect their lives – and careers.

So, what should you know?

Could you lose your job?

The answer to this question is: possibly. There are many details and nuances to consider in these cases, and they often change from person to person. However, it is critical to note these basic issues.

First, North Carolina does have rules in place that limit an employer’s ability to discharge employees for their off-duty conduct and use of legal products. However, this can change when it comes to criminal convictions and substance abuse. Additionally, if you are an at-will employee, then it is possible that your employer could dismiss you.

It is also important to understand that even the penalties for a DWI could affect your career. For example, if you do not have your license for a period, and cannot get to work reliably or on time, your employer could potentially dismiss you from your position on these grounds.

Certain careers might carry more consequences

Another key detail to consider in these situations would be the type of career you have. There are several jobs that might require a higher standard of off-duty conduct, and a DWI conviction could jeopardize your ability to work.

Two of the most common circumstances like this include:

  • Commercial driving jobs: If you drive for a living, even an off-duty DWI could put your career at risk. North Carolina has a zero-tolerance policy for commercial drivers when it comes to DWIs, and you could lose your commercial license.
  • Jobs requiring professional licensing: Careers that require you to obtain a professional license could also be at risk if you face a DWI conviction – such as a career in nursing. Nurses are held to high standards in almost all aspects of their lives, and a DWI conviction could lead to a revocation of their nursing license.

Your career may be your passion. Or you may simply depend on your job in terms of the income it brings you. Either way, it is critical to fight DWI charges to secure your future and avoid issues like this that could put your career at risk.