How to Tell Your Family or Boss You Got a DUI

Getting arrested for suspected driving under the influence (DUI) was hard enough. Now, you’re faced with the difficult task of telling the people around you—your spouse, supervisor, even your children. This guide shares tips on how and when to have conversations about this tough situation.

How to Tell Your Spouse or Partner You Got a DUI

In Lancaster County alone, about 1,500 DUI charges are filed each year, so you’re not alone if you find yourself facing this challenge. The impact on the family can be significant, from fines that strain the family budget to loss of license that affects how the kids will get to dance class.

It’s likely your significant other learned about the DUI when you were arrested. If not, you’ll want to explain what happened as soon as possible in an open, calm manner in a quiet, private spot. Over the following days, weeks, or months, they might express anger, frustration, embarrassment, or disappointment. It can even lead to arguments about your alcohol consumption.

You will both go through a tough time as the DUI charge moves through the court system.

If you find that you and your partner can’t solve the related problems or work through the emotions in a healthy way, consider marital or family counseling.

How to Tell Your Children You Got a DUI

Talking with minor children about a DUI is never easy, but it’s likely you will have to provide some explanation. After all, they’ll experience some consequences firsthand, whether it’s their lack of transportation because you lost your license or your absence while you serve jail time.

The conversation also helps reduce the risk that your child hears about the DUI from another source, like a neighbor or classmate—a situation that’s possible if your name appeared in public police logs after the arrest.

Use age-appropriate details to explain the situation and let them know you’re working to correct it. If you need help finding the right words, a family therapist or alcohol abuse resource center can provide guidance on having the conversation.

How to Tell Your Employer You Got a DUI
When it comes to the workplace, the primary concern usually isn’t how to tell your boss about a DUI—it’s what should you tell them. Some workplaces require employees to disclose DUI arrests or convictions. Review the employee handbook for guidelines regarding whether you need to notify your employer.

If your workplace doesn’t require disclosure of a DUI arrest or conviction, you have the option to keep the incident private. However, consider that a conviction can lead to consequences like loss of license—a penalty that could impact your ability to travel to, during, or from work, which may lead your boss to ask questions. In other cases, a manager might find out through the grapevine or published police logs. If they ask you directly about it, answer truthfully, even if you don’t have an obligation to formally disclose the DUI.

For licensed professionals, the job-related consequences of a conviction vary. For example, a police officer’s DUI will be handled by the officer’s department or municipality on a case-by-case basis, while an EMT faces automatic license suspension. Learn more about licensed professionals and DUIs in PA.

Get additional guidance on how a DUI can impact your employment by talking with an experienced attorney.

If you were arrested for DUI in Lancaster, don’t let it ruin your life.

After working as a Lancaster County Assistant District Attorney, Mark Walmer committed himself to helping good people in tough situations. Since then, he’s safeguarded the rights of hundreds of clients charged with DUI.

Contact us to protect your rights.

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