Any arrest, especially for Driving While Intoxicated, has severe consequences. For example, North Carolina is an implied consent state. So, the DMV may suspend a drivers’ license in the event of an arrest, if the driver either fails a chemical test or refuses to provide a sample.
However, a DWI arrest is only an accusation. The defendant is still presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. So, in most cases, your boss does not need to know about your DWI arrest. At this point, since you have not been convicted, there is nothing to tell. As far as the law is concerned, you have been falsely accused of DWI.
Exceptions to the General Rule
In some situations, this general principle does not apply. In North Carolina, people must disclose their DWI arrests in the following cases:
- Basic Job Function: Truck drivers, taxi drivers, and other commercial operators have a legal duty to inform their bosses about a DWI arrest. The same thing applies to noncommercial drivers who drive on company business. Legally, your employer could be liable for damages if you cause a car crash and have a DWI arrest on your record.
- Contractual Requirement: SOme written contracts have full disclosure clauses which specifically apply to criminal arrests. If that’s the case, and you do not inform your boss, you could face legal consequences. If you have questions, a Raleigh DWI lawyer can review your employment contract.
- Professional License: Nurses, doctors, realtors, lawyers, and other licensed professionals must generally report arrests to the agency which issued their licenses. That agency may or may not take disciplinary action against the license holder.
- Your Boss Asks: If your boss specifically asks you if you were recently arrested for DWI, honesty is usually the best policy. Lying to your boss will probably just make things worse. Additionally, you do not have the right to remain silent in these matters. That right only applies in criminal court.
If your DWI arrest leads to problems at work, our attorneys can evaluate your situation and give you solid legal advice about your rights.
A DWI accusation, by itself, normally does not create issues in the workplace. For a free consultation with an experienced Raleigh DWI lawyer, contact Sandman, Finn & Fitzhugh, Attorneys at Law, by filling out the form below or calling (919) 887-8040.