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Philadelphia city staffers fired after DUI charges

Being charged with drunk driving comes with inherent problems, especially when an accident is involved, but many people don't consider the professional fallout that can arise from a DUI accident. Two Philadelphia city employees were recently faced with this predicament after being charged with DUI while driving city vehicles.

A 41-year-old man who was a sergeant-at-arms with the Philadelphia City Council was recently arrested for DUI after crashing a city-owned vehicle in Spring Garden. The man had official access to the vehicle's keys, which were available through a council motor pool. However, he had apparently provided a second set of keys to a city-employed receptionist.

At around 3 a.m. on Sept. 8, when the man crashed the vehicle, he called the receptionist, who arrived at the scene. She was also arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated. Because she had previously had her license suspended, she was additionally charged with driving with a suspended license.

In response to this situation, the city has fired both staff members, and their court dates have been set for Oct. 11. The City Council President has also changed the council's policies regarding motor pool vehicle use. The keys to those vehicles will now be locked up, whereas before they were apparently kept in an unlocked desk drawer.

With certain kinds of employment, even a DUI allegation can result in termination. The individuals involved in this incident have yet to have their cases heard in court, yet they have already seen the repercussions of a drunk driving charge. To mitigate the consequences of this kind of allegation, defendants would do well to seek legal help in protecting their rights.

Source: Philly.com, "Two city staffers fired over DUI charges in city cars," Troy Graham, Sept. 12, 2012

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