What would happen if a employee got charged with a DUI while driving my company vehicle on or off the job?

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What would happen if a employee got charged with a DUI while driving my company vehicle on or off the job?

I am trying to get more information on what would happen if one of my employees got charged with a DUI while driving my company vehicle, Can they also come after my company? Is it different if they are off duty vs on duty? We own a towing company. This has not happened yet but I am trying to inform my employees of the consequences.

Asked on October 11, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

1) Criminal charges--the employer would not face criminal charges or persecution for an employee's DUI in almost all circumstances. One could possibly imagine some circumstances where a supervisor or manager could potentially face liability --for example, the employee's supervisor ordered him or her to have a few drinks "for the road" before setting out--but those would require blatantly and intentionally wrongful behavior by the employer.

2) Civil liability--it is possible that the employer could be sued for any injuries the employee caused while DUI if the company knew, or should have known, the employee either had a drinking problem generally or was drunk that time, and nonetheless let him or her drive. In this case, even though what the employee did was criminal and beyond the normal scope of employment, the employer's knowledge of the risk the employee poses could result in liability.


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