2nd DUI

We have an employee who was charged with his 2nd DUI in five years. When confronted by the manager, the employee showed him a slip from the sheriff's office that allowed him seven days of driving privilege.

Our personnel policy says an employee has to report a DUI within five days of "conviction" and that they may face termination if loss of license inhibits their ability to perform their job satisfactorily, which in his case, it would.

It could take a year before he goes to court. DMV only suspends a license after they get a blood alcohol report of .08 or greater, and then it's only a 90 day suspension until there is a court conviction (then it would be a year's suspension). Under the 90 suspension he can get a restricted license for work purposes.

We really don't want the liability of having him drive our vehicles knowing he's pending a license suspension so we placed him on paid administrative leave until further notice.

Our policy is being re-written, but does anyone know if we can defend discharging him now?


  • 7 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • What happens to the worker's license/driving privilege at the end of 7 days? Is having a valid license a job requirement?

    If you don't yet have a conviction, technically the policy in place at the time of the conviction is the appropriate one to use. I don't think I understand, though, the connection between a 7-day privilege and waiting one year for conviction. What happens during the meantime. Is the fella driving? Does he have a suspended license or a valid license? In case his job requires a valid DL, do you have something in writing to confirm that? If the job needs a DL and he doesn't have one, he can't do that job. So the question, then, is do you transfer while waiting for the conviction (if you something appropriate available), or let him go. Is that your question?

  • Without delving into it further, my initial thought is that it is risky to terminate an employee based upon an arrest. Generally, it is recommended you take employment actions based upon convictions. If you wish to pursue this further, you may wish to consult an attorney.

    Good luck.

  • I agree with the other posters. Is there any way you can find him a position where he will not be driving company vehicles on a temporary basis? That way, at least you are getting some work out of him since you're paying him anyway.

    I would not term for the arrest - you had a policy in place, and now you must deal with that. However, if he applies for the temporary license and is refused, you MAY (and I say that with great caution) be able to terminate based on inability to perform job functions....but I still say it's too risky. Find him something else to do as a CYA for both of you.
  • I agree with others that I would not terminate for the arrest. The issue is can he perform the functions of his job. It sounds like if his license is suspended, the answer would be "no." If he is issued a temporary work license/permit, you will want to check with your insurance carrier to see if they will cover the employee. If not, then he would not be able to perform the functions of his job.
  • I appreciate everyone's responses! I just checked verbiage on his job description and that doesn't help much either. Under Special Requirements, it says, "Possession of a valid Nevada driver's license is required at time of appointment."

    My understanding is that the sheriff's office has possession of his plastic driver's license, so he will be without authorization to drive after Friday...unless he is granted a restricted license. We don't have a position for him that wouldn't require driving, but I will check with our insurance co to see if he'll be covered on a restricted license.

  • Curious if he was driving on company time or his personal time when he was arrested for DUI?
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