There’s one thing that most of us depend on – economic security. In the face of driving while intoxicated (DWI) charges, clients frequently ask me if they’ll lose their job if they are convicted of DWI, and this is a reasonable question indeed!
Since a simple, first-time DWI in Texas is punishable by up to 180 days in jail, it’s important for all DUI defendants to consider how a DWI conviction might affect their current job, not to mention future employment opportunities for years to come.
How would a DWI conviction affect your present job? It all depends on your occupation and your employer’s views on DWI. I can tell you right now that if you drive for a living or if you work with children, then a DWI conviction can definitely lead to a dismissal.
When it comes to driving a semi-truck, a delivery truck, a tour bus, or even a cab, most employers cannot afford to insure a driver with a DWI on their record. In effect, a recent DWI usually means you may need to kiss your driving career goodbye until the DWI no longer affects your insurance premiums.
If you work at a childcare center, a daycare, or in another occupation involving children, the DWI can cost you your job. Your employer may love you; however, most businesses and non-profits that deal with children will not employ people with criminal records, period. Criminal records simply don’t sit well with concerned parents who keep these businesses afloat.
Common occupations affected by DWI convictions:
- Some teaching jobs (public and private schools)
- Truck driving jobs
- Delivery drivers
- Jobs in politics
- All commercial drivers
- Real estate sales persons
- Sales jobs involving a lot of driving
- Jobs requiring a security clearance
- Some jobs involving the medical field
Texas is an Employment At Will State
Texas is an employment at will state, which means employers can terminate employees for any reason, with the exception of discrimination or an employment contract that states otherwise. So, if your employer believes that your DWI is “bad for business,” they have every right to let you go.
Even if your employer is willing to overlook your DWI, you can still lose your job if you spend an extended period of time in jail for the crime. Sometimes the real question is, if you’re in jail for the next six months or so, will your job still be there when you get back?