If you’re facing driving while intoxicated (DWI) charges in Tarrant County or anywhere else in Texas, you likely have these questions: “Will I go to jail? How much will my fines be? Will my driver license be suspended? Will my auto insurance skyrocket?” And, another BIG question that people ask us is, “Can I lose my job because of a DWI?”
You definitely could lose your job because of a DWI, but that is not guaranteed in all cases. There’s a lot riding on the type of job you have, your relationship with your boss, if your employer will save your job if you’re incarcerated, and if a DWI is bad for business.
Texas is an Employment-At-Will State
Like the majority of states, Texas is an “employment-at-will” state. What does this mean? It means that if you don’t have a written employment contract, your employer can fire you for a good cause, a bad cause, or no reason at all. They can’t however, fire you for discriminatory reasons, such as race, religion, disability, or gender.
But a DWI...in the absence of a written employment contract, an employer can fire you for that, even if their reason is simply because they frown upon DWIs. So, will you be fired for a DWI? It all depends on your job and your employer. If you’re lucky, your employer will sympathize with your situation and accommodate you.
On the other hand, if your employer frowns heavily on drinking and driving, or if the DWI could directly impact your job, or if a DWI conviction will be bad for business, there is a higher chance that your employer might let you go.
People in these occupations are at an increased risk of a job loss:
- Commercial drivers
- Daycare workers
- Taxi, cab, Uber, and Lyft drivers
- Salesman who have to drive for work
While employees can be fired for a DWI, they cannot be fired for filing a discrimination claim, filing a workers’ compensation claim, jury service, refusing to break the law, or reporting a violation of the law on behalf of the employer.
Related: First DWI Penalties in Texas
Facing DWI charges? Contact Alband, Lane & Balderama to meet with a Tarrant County DWI lawyer.