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Job loss and DUIs: What to do to protect your work

You decided to go out for a night on the town, but you didn't think you'd get as drunk as you did. You didn't plan to get a cab or taxi, and no one could take you home. You made the bad decision to get behind the wheel, and moments later, an officer pulled you over.

People end up in situations like yours fairly often. It doesn't take much to end up with a DUI, but once you have allegations against you, you're in a difficult position. If you don't protect yourself and fight the charges, you could lose your job.

Why do people who get DUIs lose their jobs?

The reasons vary. If a person drives for work and is unable to get an occupational license, then he or she won't be able to work. As a result, the employer may fire him or her. Even if the individual can get an occupational license, the employer may find the individual to be too much of a liability and let the driver go from the position.

Another reason for getting fired after a DUI would be if it's in your work contract. Your employment contract likely has a list of reasons for which you can be terminated from your position. It's likely that you could be fired if you are facing charges, because you become a liability to your company and could hurt the company's reputation.

What can you do to protect your job?

First, take the time to think about a defense. In some cases, a breathalyzer may not have been accurate, or you may be able to show that the officer didn't have a reason to pull you over. A strong defense could help you show that there were mistakes made and help you have the case dismissed.

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