What Do I Do If an Employee Gets a DUI?

A DUI is a serious offense given the risk that it carries with it. As such, it may be a difficult thing to deal with when you have an employee who’se been arrested for a DUI. Whether they’re a star employee or not, you generally want to have a good relationship with the people who work for you. You should therefore know what to do in a sensitive case such as when one of your employees gets a DUI. Read on to see some of the steps you need to take in this instance.

Focus on the Facts

The first and most important thing for you to do in this case is to look at the facts soberly. Looking at just the facts of the case and nothing else may make it easier for you to make a logical decision. Some of these facts include knowing whether the employee was driving for the company when the event occurred, as well as whether they’re a driver for the company in the first place. If they’re a company driver, then it may make sense to suspend them until the case is completed.

The state you’re in may also dictate some of the actions that you can take. For example, in Michigan, the law views misdemeanors as low-level criminal offenses. Many of them, however, can be tried as felonies, including drug offenses, violent crimes, and DUIs. Find out what the law says in your state and you’ll also be able to anticipate what’s going to happen next and you can plan accordingly.

Look at Your Company Policy

Your company policy should also help you make the final decision. If you have a handbook with mandatory firing policies, go through it to find out if it has anything to say about DUIs and convictions in general. You may find out that being convicted of a crime is grounds for immediate job termination and thus have your decision made for you. Note that even if your company has such a policy, a DUI arrest is not enough to act on and so you have to wait to see if they’ll actually get convicted.

You may be interested to know that for BAC above .16, there’s imprisonment from three days to six months in general. This is on top of a fine of $1,000 to $5,000 and a one-year suspension of the driver’s license. These details may help you know what your employee is facing and, in this case, make it possible for you to come up with a plan of action while you await the court’s final word.

Determine the Effect on Your Business

Finally, you need to determine the effect that your employee’s DUI will have on your business. For example, find out if they’ll have to serve some time in jail and thus miss work. This includes missing out on special events such as conferences on which you may have spent money. These could be used alongside company policy to find out what the best course of action to take is.

You should also consider whether they’re a public figure or if they hold a senior position. They may also work a sensitive job such as being in the military, in which case the reputation of the organization may suffer if you don’t take action. They may be a lawyer, and this is a sensitive position because clients may not be too happy to be served by a person who has been convicted for something like a DUI.

You may also consult with a lawyer, which should be easy enough for you to do given that there are 1,315,561 lawyers in the United States, according to Practicepanther. Take a course of action that will serve the greater good and note that you may not be able to please everyone in this case.