Can I Lose My Job from a DUI in Arizona?

In Arizona, people who are arrested for DUI are frequently worried about many different things. They might wonder about the potential penalties they might face and how a conviction might impact their lives in other areas. One of the most common concerns people have after being charged with DUIs is about their jobs.

Whether or not you might be fired for a DUI will depend on the type of job you have and your company’s employment policies for criminal convictions, including DUIs. People in Arizona are employed at will, meaning that their employers can fire them for any reason at any time as long as it is not for a prohibited purpose.

The potential impact on your employment is a good reason for you to seek the help of an experienced DUI defense lawyer.

In some types of occupations, a DUI can result in job loss. In others, whether or not you might be fired for a DUI will depend on your employer.

In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the occupations for which a DUI will have a definite impact on a person’s job and discuss some of the things you might do to prevent this type of consequence from occurring to you.


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Jobs That Will be Affected by a DUI

If your job involves driving as a significant part of your work duties, it will likely be impacted by a DUI. If you are arrested for a DUI in Arizona, you will face an administrative suspension of your license beginning 15 days after your arrest. This per se suspension period would be 90 days if you submitted to chemical testing.

If you refused a breathalyzer or blood test, the implied consent suspension period would be 12 months for a first refusal or 24 months for a second refusal.

You do have the right to challenge the administrative suspension of your license by requesting a hearing. It is best to retain an attorney to represent you at the administrative license hearing on your suspension. A lawyer might be able to challenge the suspension of your license so that you can keep it while your DUI case is pending.

If you win the hearing and are not later convicted, your license will not be suspended. If you win the hearing on a per se suspension and are later convicted of a DUI, you will then receive a 90-day suspension. If you win the hearing on an implied consent suspension and are later convicted of the DUI, you won’t have an administrative suspension but will face a 90-day suspension based on the DUI conviction.

If you lose the hearing for a per se suspension, your license will be suspended for 90 days. After 30 days, you will be eligible for a restricted license. For an implied consent violation, your license will be suspended for 12 or 24 months. You will not be eligible for a restricted license for 90 days.

If you then get a restricted license, you will also have to install an ignition interlock device.

The following types of jobs will be impacted if you are convicted of a DUI:

• Taxi, limousine, or ride-share drivers
• EMT/firefighter
• Jobs requiring commercial driver’s licenses
• Real estate agent
• School bus/mass transit driver
• Aircraft pilot
• Heavy equipment operator
• An active military service member
• Getting a DUI in any company vehicle

We’ll take a brief look at each of these jobs and what might happen if you get a DUI.

Taxi, Limousine, and Ride-Share Drivers

In Arizona, taxi, limousine, and ride-share companies are required to conduct background checks on their drivers and to have zero-tolerance policies for alcohol and drug violations.

Lyft and Uber will not hire people who have had DUI convictions within the last seven years.

They will also perform annual checks and will rescind your privileges once they discover a DUI. You also cannot drive a taxi or a transportation network company with a suspended license. If you are convicted, you will also have to install an ignition interlock device in any vehicle you drive, making it impossible to continue driving for these types of jobs.

DUI Arrest in Arizona

EMTs or Firefighters

EMTs and firefighters must undergo background checks. Having criminal convictions, including DUIs, can disqualify you from these types of jobs. If you are convicted of a DUI and are an EMT or firefighter, you can anticipate being fired from your job and being unable to secure new employment in your field.

Commercial Driver’s License Holders

People who hold CDLs to transport goods face stricter DUI laws. If you are driving on the clock at the time of your arrest, you can be convicted of a DUI with a blood alcohol content of as little as 0.04%.

If you are convicted of a DUI and have a CDL, your CDL will be revoked for at least 12 months.

This will result in a loss of your job since you will not be able to drive with your CDL.

Real Estate Agent

Real estate agents are licensed by the Arizona Department of Real Estate. To get a real estate agent license, you must submit a fingerprint clearance card and report any prior misdemeanor or felony convictions. Having a DUI on your record from the past will not necessarily mean that you will not be able to obtain a license.

If you are already a licensed real estate agent, you are required to report any DUI conviction in writing once you are convicted. You are not required to report a DUI arrest, however. A DUI conviction may or may not impact your license, but it will definitely make your job more difficult.

School Bus Drivers or Mass Transit Drivers

Bus drivers can be charged with DUIs if they have as little as 0.02% concentration of alcohol in their blood. This is equivalent to one drink.

If you are convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and work as a bus or mass transit driver, you can expect to have your CDL license revoked and be fired from your job.

Pilots

Pilots are required under Federal Aviation Administration regulations to notify the FAA in writing within 60 days of an administrative suspension of their driving privileges. They must also send a second notice if they are convicted of a DUI.

If you fail to notify the FAA, your pilot’s license can be revoked.

If you do report it, the FAA may or may not revoke your pilot’s license. However, your employer might terminate from your job.

Heavy Equipment Operators

Many heavy equipment operator jobs require drivers to have CDLs. Even if you do not have a CDL, you will not be able to drive any vehicle in Arizona while your license is suspended.

If you are convicted of a DUI, you will also have to install an ignition interlock device in any vehicle you drive, making it likely that you will lose your job as a heavy equipment operator if you are convicted of a DUI or have your license administratively suspended.

Military Service Members

A military DUI can result in a court-martial. If you are convicted, you could be dishonorably discharged, lose your rank, and face confinement for up to 18 months.

DUI in a Company Vehicle

If you get a DUI while driving a company vehicle, your employer will likely fire you. Your company’s insurance provider will also likely state that you are uninsurable, preventing you from driving for your employer.


Jobs Requiring Professional Licenses and Certifications

Certain professions, including doctors, teachers, nurses, accountants, lawyers, and others, must adhere to special rules. Being convicted of a DUI can result in a revocation or suspension of your license and end your career.

Several licensing boards in Arizona require licensees to report DUI arrests. If you fail to report your arrest or lie about it, you will likely lose your license.


Jobs Requiring Fingerprint Clearance Cards

Teachers, bus drivers, CDL drivers, and people who work for companies that require employees to have clear criminal records have to get fingerprint clearance cards from the Arizona Department of Public Safety.

If you are convicted of a DUI, your fingerprint clearance card can be suspended, restricted, or revoked.

Job Loss Due To DUI


Do I Have to Tell My Employer?

Whether or not you will have to tell your employer about a DUI arrest depends on your job. As previously noted, pilots are required to notify the FAA when their license is suspended and then again if they are convicted. Doctors are also required to notify the licensing board within 10 days of a DUI arrest. Similarly, nurses must report DUI charges to the nursing board within 10 days.

Other professions might not require you to report an arrest for a DUI. However, many require you to report a DUI conviction. If you work in a profession that does not require you to report a DUI arrest, you don’t necessarily have to do so.

If your company’s employee handbook states that you must report a DUI charge, then you should do so.

If your handbook does not include this requirement, you can instead fight the offense without telling your employer.

Your employer might learn about your DUI case from another source. If this happens, your best option is, to be honest.

You should talk to your DUI attorney to learn about whether or not you are required to report a DUI arrest or conviction to your employer and what the potential consequences might be.


Arizona DUI Set Aside

You can’t expunge a DUI in Arizona. However, once you complete all the terms of your sentence and do not re-offend, you can petition the court to set aside your record. If your DUI charge was dismissed, or you were found not guilty at trial, you should ask the court to place a note in your record stating that it was dismissed. This can help to keep a DUI arrest off of your record on employment background checks.

The best way to avoid losing your job for a DUI in Arizona is to work with an experienced Phoenix DUI attorney from the start.

Your lawyer can help you understand what you should and should not report to your employer. An attorney can also help you fight the charges against you and work to prevent your license from being administratively suspended at your license hearing.

In some cases, avoiding a job loss following a DUI will be difficult. If you are in that type of situation, knowing the collateral consequences can help you to prepare for a potential termination so that you can find a new job.

To learn more about the possible consequences of a DUI in Arizona and how we might be able to help you, call the Shah Law Firm today at 602.560.7408

If you refused a breathalyzer or blood test, the implied consent suspension period would be 12 months for a first refusal or 24 months for a second refusal.

You do have the right to challenge the administrative suspension of your license by requesting a hearing. It is best to retain an attorney to represent you at the administrative license hearing on your suspension. A lawyer might be able to challenge the suspension of your license so that you can keep it while your DUI case is pending.

If you win the hearing and are not later convicted, your license will not be suspended. If you win the hearing on a per se suspension and are later convicted of a DUI, you will then receive a 90-day suspension. If you win the hearing on an implied consent suspension and are later convicted of the DUI, you won’t have an administrative suspension but will face a 90-day suspension based on the DUI conviction.

If you lose the hearing for a per se suspension, your license will be suspended for 90 days. After 30 days, you will be eligible for a restricted license. For an implied consent violation, your license will be suspended for 12 or 24 months. You will not be eligible for a restricted license for 90 days.

If you then get a restricted license, you will also have to install an ignition interlock device.

The following types of jobs will be impacted if you are convicted of a DUI:

  • Taxi, limousine, or ride-share drivers
  • EMT/firefighter
  • Jobs requiring commercial driver’s licenses
  • Real estate agent
  • School bus/mass transit driver
  • Aircraft pilot
  • Heavy equipment operator
  • An active military service member
  • Getting a DUI in any company vehicle

We’ll take a brief look at each of these jobs and what might happen if you get a DUI.

Taxi, Limousine, and Ride-Share Drivers

In Arizona, taxi, limousine, and ride-share companies are required to conduct background checks on their drivers and to have zero-tolerance policies for alcohol and drug violations.

Lyft and Uber will not hire people who have had DUI convictions within the last seven years.

They will also perform annual checks and will rescind your privileges once they discover a DUI. You also cannot drive a taxi or a transportation network company with a suspended license. If you are convicted, you will also have to install an ignition interlock device in any vehicle you drive, making it impossible to continue driving for these types of jobs.

EMTs or Firefighters

EMTs and firefighters must undergo background checks. Having criminal convictions, including DUIs, can disqualify you from these types of jobs. If you are convicted of a DUI and are an EMT or firefighter, you can anticipate being fired from your job and being unable to secure new employment in your field.

Commercial Driver’s License Holders

People who hold CDLs to transport goods face stricter DUI laws. If you are driving on the clock at the time of your arrest, you can be convicted of a DUI with a blood alcohol content of as little as 0.04%.

If you are convicted of a DUI and have a CDL, your CDL will be revoked for at least 12 months.

This will result in a loss of your job since you will not be able to drive with your CDL.

Real Estate Agent

Real estate agents are licensed by the Arizona Department of Real Estate. To get a real estate agent license, you must submit a fingerprint clearance card and report any prior misdemeanor or felony convictions. Having a DUI on your record from the past will not necessarily mean that you will not be able to obtain a license.

If you are already a licensed real estate agent, you are required to report any DUI conviction in writing once you are convicted. You are not required to report a DUI arrest, however. A DUI conviction may or may not impact your license, but it will definitely make your job more difficult.

School Bus Drivers or Mass Transit Drivers

Bus drivers can be charged with DUIs if they have as little as 0.02% concentration of alcohol in their blood. This is equivalent to one drink.

If you are convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and work as a bus or mass transit driver, you can expect to have your CDL license revoked and be fired from your job.

Pilots

Pilots are required under Federal Aviation Administration regulations to notify the FAA in writing within 60 days of an administrative suspension of their driving privileges. They must also send a second notice if they are convicted of a DUI.

If you fail to notify the FAA, your pilot’s license can be revoked.

If you do report it, the FAA may or may not revoke your pilot’s license. However, your employer might terminate you from your job.

Heavy Equipment Operators

Many heavy equipment operator jobs require drivers to have CDLs. Even if you do not have a CDL, you will not be able to drive any vehicle in Arizona while your license is suspended.

If you are convicted of a DUI, you will also have to install an ignition interlock device in any vehicle you drive, making it likely that you will lose your job as a heavy equipment operator if you are convicted of a DUI or have your license administratively suspended.

Military Service Members

A military DUI can result in a court-martial. If you are convicted, you could be dishonorably discharged, lose your rank, and face confinement for up to 18 months.

DUI in a Company Vehicle

If you get a DUI while driving a company vehicle, your employer will likely fire you. Your company’s insurance provider will also likely state that you are uninsurable, preventing you from driving for your employer.


Jobs Requiring Professional Licenses and Certifications

Certain professions, including doctors, teachers, nurses, accountants, lawyers, and others, must adhere to special rules. Being convicted of a DUI can result in a revocation or suspension of your license and end your career.

Several licensing boards in Arizona require licensees to report DUI arrests. If you fail to report your arrest or lie about it, you will likely lose your license.


Jobs Requiring Fingerprint Clearance Cards

Teachers, bus drivers, CDL drivers, and people who work for companies that require employees to have clear criminal records have to get fingerprint clearance cards from the Arizona Department of Public Safety.

If you are convicted of a DUI, your fingerprint clearance card can be suspended, restricted, or revoked.

Do I Have to Tell My Employer?

Whether or not you will have to tell your employer about a DUI arrest depends on your job. As previously noted, pilots are required to notify the FAA when their license is suspended and then again if they are convicted. Doctors are also required to notify the licensing board within 10 days of a DUI arrest. Similarly, nurses must report DUI charges to the nursing board within 10 days.

Other professions might not require you to report an arrest for a DUI. However, many require you to report a DUI conviction. If you work in a profession that does not require you to report a DUI arrest, you don’t necessarily have to do so.

If your company’s employee handbook states that you must report a DUI charge, then you should do so.

If your handbook does not include this requirement, you can instead fight the offense without telling your employer.

Your employer might learn about your DUI case from another source. If this happens, your best option is to be honest.

You should talk to your DUI attorney to learn about whether or not you are required to report a DUI arrest or conviction to your employer and what the potential consequences might be.


Arizona DUI Set Aside

You can’t expunge a DUI in Arizona. However, once you complete all the terms of your sentence and do not re-offend, you can petition the court to set aside your record. If your DUI charge was dismissed, or you were found not guilty at trial, you should ask the court to place a note in your record stating that it was dismissed. This can help to keep a DUI arrest off of your record on employment background checks.

The best way to avoid losing your job for a DUI in Arizona is to work with an experienced Phoenix DUI attorney from the start.

Your lawyer can help you understand what you should and should not report to your employer. An attorney can also help you fight the charges against you and work to prevent your license from being administratively suspended at your license hearing.

In some cases, avoiding a job loss following a DUI will be difficult. If you are in that type of situation, knowing the collateral consequences can help you to prepare for a potential termination so that you can find a new job.


Contact the Shah Law Firm today

If you are facing a DUI charge, you should seek legal help immediately from an experienced DUI
defense lawyer
at the Shah Law Firm. We will carefully analyze the facts of what happened and explain the legal options and defenses that might be available to you.

Call us today to schedule a free consultation by calling us at 602.560.7408.

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