In the UK, the legal number of alcohol units you can drink before getting behind the wheel is 1.5. However, many people choose to exceed this after an unexpected night in the pub, with over 28,000 Brits being convicted of drink-driving each year.
If you’ve been charged with a drink-driving offence, you’ve probably got a long list of concerns. For most people – alongside fears about drink-driving prison sentences – their employment status ranks very highly on this list.
In this blog, we discuss the likelihood of losing your job for a drink-driving conviction.
Will I lose my driving job for a drink-driving conviction?
A drink-driving conviction comes with with an automatic driving ban for a minimum of 12 months.
If your job involves driving of any kind, you will have to inform your employer of your drink-driving charge.
Pending trial, you can continue to drive, but if you are driving on company insurance, your employer will have to inform their insurance company to establish whether you can continue to drive on the policy.
Even if you drive as part of your role, a driving ban alone is not grounds for dismissal by your employer. If driving is only a small part of your role, your employer should attempt to make alternative arrangements to accommodate you for the duration of your driving ban.
However, this isn’t always possible. Smaller companies will struggle to accommodate staff who cannot perform their duties for a whole year. On the other hand, larger companies run the risk of other members of staff being inconvenienced due to roles being switched around to accommodate you.
Put simply, if driving forms part of your role, then even the most compassionate boss could struggle to justify keeping you in employment after a drink-driving conviction.
If there is no reasonable alternative to a driving role, your employer must hold a disciplinary hearing. Here, they will consider whether you can be dismissed on grounds of capability, as you will have lost an essential qualification for the job.
Will I lose my job for drink-driving if I don’t drive as part of my role?
You won’t always automatically lose your job if you are found guilty of drink-driving. In fact, it’s unlikely that you’ll lose your job if you don’t drive as part of your role.
However, it’s vital that you check your employment contract for whether you are legally obligated to notify your employer of any criminal convictions. Whilst it may be tempting to keep quiet, it’s important to note that withholding information regarding any convictions can amount to a criminal offence.
You’ll also need to consider your ability to get to work. If you cannot undertake your contracted role due to transport issues, this could mean that you lose your job on the grounds of gross misconduct.
If you’re a member of any professional associations, you should also check whether they require disclosure of any convictions. A conviction for drink-driving could result in you being banned from the association, which could ultimately affect your employment status.
Speak to expert motoring defence solicitors today
With the right legal help, you could avoid a conviction for drink-driving entirely, even if you were over the limit.
MAJ Law are highly experienced motoring defence solicitors, specialising in drink-driving cases. If you’ve been charged with drink-driving, send them a message today to find out if you have grounds for a defence.
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