Getting a DWI in Houston can adversely affect your ability to work. After a recent DWI arrest, a local Houston firefighter is learning this lesson the hard way. According to reports, Severiano Vasquez was arrested on suspicion of DWI earlier this month after crashing his car into a light post. Even though the firefighter wasn't on duty at the time of the incident, his job may still be in jeopardy. He's currently under administrative investigation and suspended from the department.
Can Firefighters in Texas Be Fired For DWI?
It's possible. Each fire department in Texas has the ability to set its own administrative policies. This includes policies relevant to employee termination. As long as the policy isn't discriminatory, it's possible for departments to call for the termination of firefighters if they're arrested or convicted for DWI. Many fire departments across the state of Texas have such rules in place.
One example of a Texas fire department DWI-related policy comes from San Antonio. After DWIs involving their firefighters, the department revamped its internal policies. If a San Antonio firefighter is arrested for a first DWI offense they can automatically be placed on administrative suspension. The department reserves the right to impose penalties, including additional suspension, rehabilitation, and/or mandatory counseling if an investigation determines that the firefighter violated the law. A firefighter can be terminated from his or her employment the second time they're arrested for DWI.
San Antonio isn't the only city in Texas to take a firm stance against driving while intoxicated. Most other departments are revising their internal policies to address DWI arrests. Most, including Houston, address a DWI immediately with an administrative suspension and investigation. If an investigation warrants termination, the departments may not hesitate to permanently remove firefighters from their positions.
Can Getting a DWI Affect Any Job or Employment?
Yes, getting a DWI can potentially affect your job or position of employment. This is particularly true if you drive for a living or work in a particular field (e.g., medicine, nursing, government).
Getting a DWI will also generate a mark on your criminal record. This will show up on background checks run by current and/or future employers. The fact that you've been convicted of a crime can influence an employer's decision regarding your employment. You may find that you're terminated or turned down for jobs that for which you're highly qualified.
Once you are arrested for DWI your driver's license will also be in jeopardy. If you don't contest it, your license will automatically be suspended. If you're convicted you'll risk losing your license for even longer. While special restricted licenses may be available, you'll find that it's difficult to travel. Getting to and from work and taking care of your family can become more difficult without a car. If you can't get to work you may find that your employer finds someone else who can do the job.
A DWI can have consequences throughout your life. It's important to hire an attorney who can help you assert the strongest possible defense. Contact the Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C. to schedule a free consultation with our skilled Houston DWI defense lawyers. We're here to help you when you need it most.
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