If you’ve been charged with a DUI or another crime, then reporting the accusation to your employer or school may be one of many things keeping you up at night. Will mandatory court appearances impact your work or class schedule? Will you be able to drive back and forth to work or will you be able to drive the company vehicle to appointments? These are just some of the concerns at the beginning of the case.

Washington State law does not require disclosure of a DUI or other criminal charge to an employer. Employee or student handbooks or union representatives are a good place to check, if you have any of these. Some employee handbooks and even student conduct handbooks will have mandatory reporting requirements for criminal accusations and convictions.

Generally, employment relationships in Washington State are at-will. This means that either an employer or employee may terminate the relationship at any time, without notice and for any reason. Of course, there are exceptions for things like racial and sexual discrimination. Similarly, an employer may decide not to hire you for almost any reason, including a pending DUI charge or prior conviction.

DUI charges in Washington State often lead to a driver’s license restriction called financial responsibility or SR-22. This means the Department of Licensing (DOL) will not issue a driver’s license to someone unless they have SR-22 insurance or other financial responsibility documentation on file with DOL. There are some commercial automobile insurance policies which prohibit an employee from driving company vehicles if that employee needs SR-22 as a part of their personal auto policy. Bottom line is that a DUI charge or conviction might make you ineligible for certain jobs.

Whether you are already working, looking for a job or attending school a DUI charge can be a game changer. Get the advice you need by contacting Cooney Law Offices today. We can help.