My clients often ask me if “Can I be fired if convicted of drunk driving in Michigan?” Many of my client’s cases are dismissed due to a lack of evidence presented for prosecution or through plea bargaining in which they agree to a lesser charge to avoid harsher penalties. However, throughout my career as a criminal defense attorney, I have heard about people losing their jobs or being placed on paid/unpaid administrative leave due to being charged or convicted of drunk driving.
People who are likely to lose their job if convicted of drunk driving are often employed in the transportation, public safety, or education industry. For example, a Farmington, Connecticut bus driver was recently fired after being accused of drunk driving a school bus full of children. The bus driver, Tammy Costello, is facing charges of driving under the influence of alcohol and 20 counts of risk of injury to children.
Davis school bus driver Lycia Martinez was recently placed on administrative leave pending the investigation of her allegedly operating a bus under the influence of prescription drugs while taking students and parents on a field trip.
A Sacramento teacher recently pleaded no contest to drunk driving when she plowed into two houses. She was sentenced to serve 90 days in the county jail and to pay fines and restitution. Due to the DUI, she was placed on paid administrative leave from her job as a third grade teacher.
Many companies have policies regarding employees being investigated for drunk driving and their employment status throughout the investigation. Policies outline whether an employee will be placed on paid or unpaid administrative leave or be completely terminated because of a DUI conviction. This is why I stress to my clients that their employment status is determined on a case-by-case basis if they are charged/convicted of drunk driving in Michigan. Individuals with a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) are particularly at risk for loss of employment due to a DUI conviction because of CDL requirements. But, other individuals may only have to report the conviction to their employer or professional licensing authority without losing employment.
If you have been charged with operating while intoxicated in the Ann Arbor area, contact me for a consultation. I can review your case and provide you with legal advice and guidance on how to best proceed through the criminal justice system. If you retain me as counsel, I will work diligently to have the charge asserted against you reduced or completely dismissed. Do not let a DUI ruin your career. Call 734-274-6567 to speak with me directly.