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Can My Employer Fire Me for a DUI Arrest?

Man leaving office with belongings after being fired

After a DUI arrest, you may be wondering what the aftermath will look like and what parts of your life may be affected. Unfortunately, a DUI arrest and conviction can do more than just raise auto insurance premiums and cost you a hefty fine. It can also impact your employment status with your current employer.

Your employment status is just another reason to hire a lawyer to help you combat charges of a DUI and safeguard your future. Below, we’ll detail employers’ rights to terminate your contract after a DUI arrest and why they would be able to do so.

Virginia’s At-Will Employment Laws

Virginia is an at-will employment state and permits employers to terminate their employees’ contracts for any legal reason. While an employer cannot use a discriminatory reason to fire you, a DUI arrest does not fall under a protected characteristic. Things such as your age, race, political party, and gender are protected.

What this means is that after a DUI arrest and conviction, your employer can fire you. Their decision to do so may be based on a number of factors, but you’re not protected by law in these situations. It’s not an automatic termination of your employment, but it is something your employer can consider when determining your employment status.

Reasons for a Termination After a DUI

Your employer can have various reasons to terminate your employment after a DUI, including the following:

  • Your employer’s views on DUI arrests

  • Your tenure with the company, as well as your position

  • Your job description (e.g., you’re a driver and a DUI impacts your ability to do your job)

  • Your legal obligations, such as if you’re going to jail

A DUI can significantly impact your entire life, so it’s essential to have a lawyer on your side to defend your rights. There are countless situations where sober individuals receive DUIs because of problems with a breathalyzer, biased field sobriety tests, and other issues. Let our Virginia DUI defense attorneys at Tillotson & Martin, LLC be there for you when you need us most.

Call our firm today at (757) 568-7978.