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Do you have to tell your employer about an OWI arrest?

On Behalf of | Mar 10, 2024 | OWI-DUI Defense

Navigating the aftermath of an OWI arrest in Indiana can be challenging. Of the many concerns you face, knowing whether you must share this information with your employer can cause a lot of stress.

Understanding your obligations in this situation is key to maintaining a transparent and respectful relationship at the workplace.

Indiana law

There is no state law explicitly requiring employees to report OWI arrests to their employers. However, this does not mean there are no consequences. Employers may have their own policies regarding employee conduct, and violating these policies could result in disciplinary actions.

Company policies

Employers often have guidelines in place to ensure a safe and productive work environment. These policies can vary from one company to another, so familiarize yourself with your workplace rules. Some employers may demand disclosure of legal issues, including OWI arrests, while others may not explicitly require it.

Potential consequences

Failing to disclose an OWI arrest when required by company policy might lead to consequences. Employers may view it as a breach of trust or a violation of their rules. This could result in disciplinary measures, such as warnings, suspension or even termination, depending on the severity of the company’s policies and the nature of your job responsibilities.


Even if not legally mandated, choosing transparency can be beneficial. If your employer values honesty and open communication, voluntarily sharing information about your OWI arrest might demonstrate integrity. It allows your employer to understand the situation directly from you, potentially influencing their perception and the decisions they make regarding any workplace consequences.


Choosing not to disclose an OWI arrest to your employer might include several factors. One key consideration is the fact that an arrest does not necessarily equate to a conviction.

In the legal system, you are innocent until proven guilty, so divulging information about an arrest without a conviction may seem premature. Additionally, personal privacy and the desire to avoid unnecessary speculation could be reasons for keeping this information private. If an individual believes that their arrest will not impact their job performance and they are confident in their legal standing, they may opt to wait until the legal process concludes before informing their employer.

While the decision to inform your employer about an OWI arrest is a personal one, a professional with expertise in OWI defense may offer insight and guidance as to the smartest way to proceed.