A DUI conviction in a background check can be a significant barrier to finding employment, but it does not have to be a career-ending obstacle. Many employers understand that people make mistakes and are willing to give candidates a second chance.
However, it’s important to be prepared and understand the laws and regulations that can affect your ability to find employment after a DUI, DWI conviction, especially if the job you are applying for requires a driver’s license or involves working with vulnerable populations.
A free arrest review can be extremely helpful in this situation, as it can provide you with detailed information on the specific laws and regulations in your state regarding background checks and employment, and provide you with strategies for addressing the conviction in job interviews. It can also help you identify job opportunities that may be more forgiving of a DUI conviction, such as positions in the non-profit sector, government, or small businesses.
Additionally, it can help you with resume building and interview preparation to present yourself in the best possible light. With the right approach, preparation and legal advice, you can still find employment opportunities, even with a DUI on your record.
It is no secret that any type of criminal arrest, charge, or conviction can greatly alter an individual’s working life. A conviction of Driving Under the Influence (DUI), or Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), can have a severe negative impact on the offender’s career. Additionally, individuals who are charged with impaired driving but not convicted can still be affected and those who hold commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs) can face dire consequences since driving is a large part of how they make their living.
Employers can choose to conduct a background check on their employee for any number of reasons, some of which are more valid than others. Depending on how this check is conducted, it is possible for the employer to become aware of a DUI or DWI charge based on the findings. While the employer may be aware of a DUI charge or conviction, the law limits how much information an employer has access to as well as if a DUI or DWI charge will have any effect on the employees current or future employment.
State Laws Prevailing Over Background Checks
In most states, employers are allowed by law to refuse employment to anyone who has a conviction on his or her record and some states even allow employers to refuse job applicants who have an arrest record. Some states, however, have set legal standards that require an employer to prove the relevance of a conviction to the job being applied for or the job the employee currently holds. These states include Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Kansas, Hawaii, Minnesota, New Mexico, Wisconsin, and nine other states.
Any individual who is interested in or currently working with children, the elderly or disabled, and other specialized jobs will be required to have a background check performed. It is important to note that just because a background check is being performed does not mean that the applicant will be barred from employment from a DUI or DWI charge – this does mean, however, that an employer will now take note of the offense and consider it a character flaw in the applicant that could stop them from getting hired.
Federal Laws Prevailing Over Background Checks
All states, regardless of local laws, are governed by the Fair Credit Reporting Act, or FCRA. This regulation applies to background checks performed by outside organizations but have no bearing over the in-house background checks done by employers. The FCRA prohibits reporting of criminal arrests after a period of seven years while criminal convictions can be reported indefinitely. Additionally, the reporting restrictions set forth by FCRA only apply to jobs with yearly salaries of $75,000 or more.
A free arrest review can also provide you with information on laws and regulations that limit the use of criminal convictions in hiring decisions and can advise you on how to navigate the background check process. With the right approach, preparation, and legal advice, you can increase your chances of finding employment even with a DUI conviction on your record.
Taryn J. White is a legal research specialist and DUI law news reporter. Her current accomplishments include helping those facing any driving under the influence arrest charges, get free online assistance in learning how to fight a DUI case for the best possible outcome.