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Will a DWI Affect My Job?


If you were recently arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI), you may be wondering how a DWI conviction could affect your employment. It depends on a number of factors such as what you do for a living, whether you're in the public eye, and if you are in the transportation industry. For instance, a DWI will affect a school bus driver or a truck driver a lot more than it would a retail sales clerk.

If you are in the field of transportation, you may be unable to continue driving due to the fact that a DWI increases insurance costs. You will also have a problem if your employer believes they'd expose themselves to liabilities if they negligently retain an employee who was convicted of DWI.

What about background checks?

Generally, federal law prohibits employers from barring an applicant from a job strictly due to a DWI conviction unless the DWI presents a good reason for passing on that particular applicant.

Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, DWI arrests remain on people's criminal backgrounds for up to seven years, while DWI convictions remain on criminal reports indefinitely.

When it comes to childcare, nursing home care, and the professions that deal with the disabled, states have maintained their own rules regarding employment. Many states allow employers to refuse to hire someone based on their DWI conviction.

Texas is an "At-Will" Employment State

Texas is an "at-will" employment state, which is important in the context of DWIs. This means that absent an express agreement; for example, an employment contract, either the employer or the employee can terminate the relationship for any reason, for no particular reason at all, and with or without advance notice.

While federal law protects certain job candidates from being discriminated due to prior DWI convictions, once an employee has been hired, their employer is within their rights to fire an employee for a DWI arrest or conviction. Further, if an employee is under contract and the terms of it are dependent upon the employee not getting arrested or convicted for a crime, then they too can be fired.

If you are facing DWI charges in Denton, call (972) 619-3167 to schedule a free consultation with Attorney Adame. As a former chief prosecutor for DWI cases, Attorney Adame is qualified to defend you!

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