Generally, people who are charged with drunk driving (DUI or DWI) don’t have to tell their boss or anyone at work if they don’t want to. But, if you have to drive as part of your job (beyond driving to and from work), you will need to tell your boss because you will most likely be facing a suspension of your driving privilege.
During your suspension, you may be able to get a restricted driver’s license that requires an ignition interlock device (IID) on any vehicle you drive. As you probably know, an IID is a breathalyzer-type device attached to the ignition. The vehicle will not start until you blow into it to prove that you have not been drinking, and rolling retests are required intermittently.
Pennsylvania makes an exception for people who need to drive a company-owned vehicle to do their job. However, they must receive authorization to from their employer to drive one or more of their vehicles without an IID. (Note: This does NOT apply to those with a commercial driver’s license. Penalties are much more stringent for those with CDLs.)
The Ignition Interlock Employment Exception Affidavit
This affidavit, which the employee must keep with them at all times when they are driving a company vehicle without an IID, requires the employer to detail things like:
- What the employee’s job is
- Why they must drive a company vehicle
- What days/times they will be driving a company vehicle
- Specify which company vehicles they may drive without an IID
This affidavit cannot be used for any vehicle that transports more than 15 people or any school vehicle. The affidavit cannot be used by an owner of the company to avoid driving without an IID because the company vehicle would be at least partially owned by them.
Are there other options?
Employers may not be willing to take on the risk that someone charged with drunk driving is using one of their vehicles without an IID and they may not agree to have an IID installed in their vehicle. You might be able to work something out with your employer that allows you to drive your own car with an IID while you are required to have one.
Obviously, a better and less costly outcome would be to avoid a drunk driving conviction completely. With experienced legal guidance, you can explore all of your options that may get the charges dropped or lessened. In any event, it is worthwhile to know your options before you plead guilty.