Charles A. Trabandt, nominated by President Reagan to a federal energy job, failed to win Senate confirmation this week after telling a committee about two drunk-driving arrests, including one in 1981 when he gained early release from jail with help from an aide to James G. Watt, then interior secretary.

Under Senate rules, Reagan will have to renominate Trabandt after the August recess. White House spokesmen said they did not know the status of the nomination, but one source said it would be resubmitted in early September.

Trabandt's nomination, sent to the floor Tuesday on a 17-to-1 vote by the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, died late Thursday when at least one senator notified the leadership that he would block it. The Senate was considering only matters of unanimous consent.

"It got lost in the soup of the budget process," said an aide to Energy Committee Chairman James A. McClure (R-Idaho), who presided over Trabandt's confirmation hearing last Monday.

Committee spokesmen said that they could not find out who lodged the objection, and that it likely was voiced in private to Majority Leader Robert J. Dole (R-Kan.).

The nomination of Trabandt to fill a vacancy on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission drew fire because of his controversial tenure as chief counsel to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee from 1981 to 1984.