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How Will a DUI Affect My Employment?

Like a handful of other states, Alabama has no laws or regulations on the use of criminal records in hiring or other employment decisions by employers. Under Alabama law, an employer can turn you down for a job on the basis of your DUI criminal record.

Notably, DUI convictions in AL cannot be expunged, which means that the offense will remain on your record forever unless you can participate in a pre-trial diversion program. In case of a DUI arrest in AL, the best course of action is to retain an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible. A skilled attorney can put up a solid defense to protect your interests and potentially avoid a conviction.

Compulsory Termination

Specific job titles are associated with mandatory termination for DUI convictions or arrests. These professions include law enforcement, teachers, commercial drivers, and military personnel. Upon losing your job after a DUI arrest, it can be challenging to find employment in the same field, which negatively impacts your career prospects.

The Loss of Professional Tools

After a DUI conviction, the perpetrator may lose specific professional tools, such as professional licenses (for attorneys, doctors, and other professionals) and insurance coverage for those who operate a vehicle as a part of their job. In addition, you may find it harder to pursue higher education with a criminal record. Many educational institutions are hesitant to accept students with criminal records, preventing you from receiving financial aid.

Missed Work

Even if your employer is unbothered or oblivious to your DUI conviction, you can still lose your job if you take too many days off. Serving time behind bars is a real possibility if this isn’t your first offense. If you are able to avoid incarceration, you may still need to take time off work to undergo substance abuse treatment.

DUI Arrest versus Conviction

A DUI arrest and an actual conviction are not the same. A DUI charge implies that you have been accused of an offense, whereas a DUI conviction signifies an admission or determination of guilt.

A skilled criminal defense lawyer may use various legal strategies if you are arrested for a DUI:

  • The law enforcement officer did not have probable cause to stop you or administer a sobriety test
  • There was a violation of the discovery and evidence rule
  • You provided law enforcement with a statement that was a violation of your Miranda rights
  • The police officer did not appropriately administer the sobriety test
  • The equipment used to administer the sobriety test was defective or not calibrated properly

Disclosing your DUI Conviction to Your Existing Employer

In certain employee agreements, it is necessary for the employee to inform their employer about an arrest, whether the arrest is for a DUI or another offense. It is perspicacious to inform your employer about your arrest or conviction if you are contractually obligated to do so. Following the terms of your employment contract is essential, failing which you may face dismissal.

Some professions require you to report DUI arrests, such as Uber or Lyft drivers, postal workers, childcare workers, military personnel, pilots, commercial truck drivers, and public service employees. You must disclose any DUI charges if your company’s handbook specifies that you need to do so.

Obtaining Employment with a DUI

Today, many employers undertake criminal and background checks if they want to hire you. During these checks, they will uncover any past convictions, including a DUI. Reviewing questions that are asked on the job application are vital. Upon being asked if you have a conviction to your name, you can answer “No” if you haven’t been convicted or the lawsuit is still pending.

Certain employers will be more tentative in hiring candidates with DUI convictions than others. For instance, a DUI conviction can make it hard to find employment if you plan to work with kids. Similarly, people working as bus or truck drivers, daycare providers, outside salespersons, or government employees may find it difficult to find a job in the same profession after a DUI conviction.

Also, getting into the military following a DUI conviction can be challenging and will necessitate a waiver. When you are seeking employment, you should reveal your DUI arrest if the employer asks for such information. If you choose to conceal this information and your employer finds out about it later, your employment could still be terminated for being dishonest.

Legal Help by Knowledgeable Alabama DUI Defense Lawyers

If you face DUI charges in AL, it is wise to speak to a skilled DUI defense attorney as soon as possible. The attorneys at Zach Peagler Law Firm understand the long-term implications of a DUI arrest.

Our lawyers can guide you on the best options for dealing with the DUI charge in a manner that is least detrimental for your life and career. Based on your specific situation, we will guide you on whether you should inform your employer of your DUI conviction. For a free consultation, call today at (205) 871-9990.

Should I Refuse the Breathalyzer Test After a DUI Stop in Alabama?

Getting stopped for drunk driving in Alabama is very serious. A DUI arrest and conviction can result in very harsh consequences, which may include heavy fines, loss of driving privileges, and even jail time. That said, what you do at the time you are pulled over and after your arrest will have a major impact on how your case will go.

One of the most common questions people ask about DUIs is whether or not they should refuse a breathalyzer test after being stopped. There are actually two different breath tests that could be given; the first would be a preliminary breath test (PBT) at the time you are pulled over, and the second would be the chemical (breath, blood, or urine) test that would be administered usually at the police station after you have been arrested for DUI.

Should I Refuse the Chemical Test after Being Arrested for DUI?

First, let’s deal with the breathalyzer test that you would be given at the police station after your DUI arrest. Under Alabama’s “implied consent” laws, anyone who operates a vehicle within the state is deemed to have consented to a breath, blood, or urine test if they have been arrested on suspicion of DUI. The chemical test results are used to determine if it is safe for the person to continue driving, and as scientific evidence of intoxication in a DUI trial.

You have the right to refuse the chemical test after your DUI arrest, but there are consequences if you do. Drivers who refuse a lawful request to take a breathalyzer test at the police station are subject to an automatic 90-day driver’s license suspension if this is your first offense, and a one-year suspension if this is your second or subsequent offense. This is an administrative suspension that is separate from the criminal proceeding you will be involved in, and it can be imposed even if your DUI charge is ultimately dismissed.

In general, it is best not to refuse the chemical test after being arrested for DUI in Alabama. But if you have already done so, you may still have some options.

First of all, not having scientific test results will weaken the case against you, which could clearly be to your benefit. Secondly, an experienced DUI defense lawyer may be able to get your driver’s license suspension stayed while your DUI case is pending. But in order to do so, you must act quickly, because you only have 10 days from the date of your DUI arrest to appeal your pending administrative suspension.

Should I Refuse the Preliminary Breath Test when I’m Pulled Over for DUI?

The preliminary breathalyzer test that you are asked to take after you are pulled over on the side of the road is not subject to implied consent laws. Despite what the officer might say or imply at the time of the stop, you can refuse the field breathalyzer test; and in most cases, it is in the driver’s best interests to do so.

The main purpose of a preliminary breath test is to establish probable cause to arrest you for DUI. However, these devices may not be calibrated properly or there could be other problems with them, and some officers are not adequately trained on how to use them. This means that the results of such a test could be inaccurate.

By refusing the preliminary breath test, the officer may not have probable cause to arrest you for DUI. The same holds true for field sobriety tests such as the one-legged stand, horizontal gaze, and walk and turn test.

These tests also have several inherent flaws; and if you were pulled over, it means the officer already suspects that you are driving drunk. Therefore, there is no reasonable expectation that they will administer these tests fairly.

Without the results of a preliminary breathalyzer test and field sobriety tests, there could be a lack of probable cause for an arrest. This means that anything that happened after the arrest could also be challenged.

The one potential drawback to refusing a preliminary breath test or field sobriety test is that your refusal may be looked at unfavorably by a jury if your case ever gets to trial. Keep in mind, however, that prosecutors in Alabama have very heavy caseloads. And with the help of a skilled and knowledgeable DUI defense attorney, you can usually negotiate a more favorable outcome long before your case gets tried.

Contact The Zach Peagler Law Firm For Assistance

If you have been charged for DUI, you are facing some very serious consequences. But being charged for drunk driving is not the same as being convicted, and with so much at stake, it is very important to have strong legal counsel by your side fighting hard to protect your legal rights.

If your DUI arrest occurred in the Birmingham area, the Zach Peagler Law Firm is here to help. Call our office today at (205) 871-9990 or message us online to schedule a discrete and confidential consultation with our experienced attorney.