Can a DUI conviction cost you your job? It can if your job is to catch DUI drivers. 23ABC News is reporting the story of a California Highway Patrolman, Edward Marquez, who was recently convicted on two counts of DUI. Marquez reported to work in Bakersfield one morning smelling of alcohol. Other officers also noticed that he appeared intoxicated and performed a chemical sobriety test on him. The results came back that he had a .12% blood alcohol concentration, meaning he was 4 points over the legal limit. He was then arrested for DUI since he had clearly driven to work.
This seems like a case where a man was out drinking until the early hours of the morning. This is no excuse for his actions. He had probably even driven several others times before making it into the station. The District Attorney, Lisa Green, had this to say about the case:
"A police officer should know better than to drive while impaired. It is a reminder to all of us that anyone who drives impaired endangers others on the road will face the consequences."
In addition to choosing to drive drunk, he also chose to show up to work while still intoxicated, an act that would get many people fired. And it did; that one day of bad judgment cost Marquez his job as well as 2 days in jail, 80 hours of community service, several hundred dollars in fines and license suspension.
There are very few jobs where a DUI arrest should lead to termination. Even teachers who have gotten convictions are not always let go. A police officer should be required to follow the laws that they enforce. In fact, some may argue that police officers who break these types of laws should face steeper penalties. If the people who are supposed to enforce these laws are not capable of doing so, how can they expect the number of DUI drivers to ever decrease?