A DUI arrest can begin changing your life immediately. If you were arrested and released from jail after posting bail or on your own recognizance, you may have to wait some time before your first hearing before a judge. In the meantime, you won’t have your driver’s license.
You’re likely feeling some combination of anxious, embarrassed and angry. You may not have told anyone what happened, or you may have confided in a close family member or friend. But you may also be wondering – and worrying – about whether you’re required to notify your employer at this stage of the process.
When you may have to tell them
Likely, if driving isn’t a required part of your job (other than getting to and from work), you don’t. If your driver’s license has been revoked, you can’t drive any vehicle (your own or a company-owned one) legally for some time. You may be required to install an ignition interlock device on any vehicle you drive to get limited driving privileges back. There are some cases where any arrest must be reported. If you have a professional license, your licensing board may require notification to it and/or your employer. If you have an employment agreement with a provision that requires reporting an arrest, you need to abide by that or potentially lose your job.
What you don’t want to do
It’s not wise to lie to your manager. Eventually, you may need to take some time off work to deal with court hearings. It’s better to avoid details beyond saying you have to deal with a personal matter or just schedule a personal day off than to make up a story. If you need to spend some time in jail, you’ll likely have to tell them, so lying to them on top of relaying that news can put you in truly hot water.
If you’re not telling your boss (at least for now), don’t tell anyone at work – even a co-worker you’re close to. Most managers don’t like being out of the loop. If your boss feels like they’re the last to know, they may be less likely to accommodate your need for some time off or make your life unpleasant in other ways.
The more you can minimize the consequences of your DUI, the less likely it will be to affect your job. By getting legal guidance as soon as possible, you may be able to find alternatives to jail time or even get the charge dismissed or reduced.