Is your job safe after a DWI?

| Nov 26, 2018 | Firm News

There are some mistakes that are long-lasting. Choosing to get behind the wheel of a vehicle after a night of celebrating is one of the big ones. In 2016 there were 1,018 DWI-related fatalities in Texas.

If you get pulled over for a DWI traffic stop, you should know that you may be dealing with ramifications for years to come. That’s because a DWI may impede your ability to get a job or keep it.

Texas employment law

Texas law allows employers to hire and fire employees “at will.” This policy may spell trouble if you made the mistake of drinking and driving. When applying for a job, you usually must disclose any crime that resulted in a conviction. If your DWI case is pending and in the early stages of prosecution, you do not need to list it. Depending on the industry you work in and the type of job you have, however, an employer may run a subsequent background check. If your DWI conviction has occurred, what happens?

Some positions, such as childcare provider, teacher, social worker and health care provider may require you to undergo annual background checks. When your DWI conviction appears on your record, your employer may fire your employment. While you have the right to appeal your employer’s decisions, ultimately, they have the right to sever ties over any criminal offense.

A new beginning

In 2017, the “Second Chance” law went into effect sealing some DWI records and allowing first-time offenders to wipe the slate and not have a one-time mistake linger on their records. It affords a low-level offense, such as some DWIs not to hinder a person’s ability to find gainful employment.

Some industries are not as strict with criminal background checks as others. If your employer has an ongoing criminal background check policy, a night of drinking and a momentary lapse in judgment may result in your termination.