A DUI arrest may be something you want to put behind you as soon as you’re released from custody. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. A DUI comes with serious and far-reaching consequences. The most immediate one is usually a suspension of your driver’s license.
Whatever the circumstances of the arrest, you likely don’t want anyone to know beyond the people in your immediate family or friend group whom you had to call to bail you out or give you a ride home. What about your boss?
Most jobs don’t require notification
In most cases, there’s no requirement that you tell your immediate supervisor or anyone in your company about your arrest. That assumes you’re not required to drive as part of your job (beyond getting to and from work). If you do have to drive – either your car or a company-owned vehicle, you’ll need to notify your employer since you can’t legally drive unless and until you can get an ignition interlock device.
Even if the only immediate effect on your job is that you have to find another way to get to and from work, you don’t want to start lying – especially to your boss – if people ask why you’re not driving. You can keep your answers vague.
Eventually, you’ll probably need to take time off for court dates or other obligations associated with your arrest. You can probably ask for a personal day off without a detailed explanation. If you’re convicted, you may have to spend some time in jail, doing community service and/or with electronic monitoring. At that point, you’ll probably need to make some explanations.
If you’re not telling your boss about the arrest, don’t tell anyone else at work, either. Managers typically don’t like to get this kind of information secondhand.
When do you need to report your arrest?
If you have a professional license of any kind, it’s important to find out if you’re required to notify your licensing board and/or your employer. Further, if you have an employment agreement, you should review that and see if it requires notification of an arrest. Not making the notification in either of these two cases can cost you your job. If you have a private or government job with a security clearance or if you’re in the military, it’s crucial to find out about arrest reporting requirements.
If you get experienced legal guidance as soon as possible after your arrest, you can better make these decisions and – more importantly – protect your rights and work to lessen the consequences.