DUI Background Checks

Drunk Driving & DWI conviction

Background Checks: How A Person Convicted Of DUI Can Have Problems Finding Employment

It doesn’t matter if a person has been convicted of a DUI or not, it can impact their career in a negative way especially if the person has a commercial driver’s license and must drive for their job. An employer could decide to do a background check on any current or prospective employee for a select number of reasons; some reasons are quite legal to check out.

It all depends on how a background check is done if the DUI charge is exposed or not. Of course, state laws govern employers’ ability to carry out these kinds of checks and if a DUI crime should be mulled over during a decision to hire or fire someone from the job. That said, employers and DUIs are very tricky matters when it comes to hiring individuals, as employers are legally entitled to ask job applicants about their previous history of either misdemeanors or folonies.

What Federal Laws Say About Background Checks: What Does It Restrict

All states will follow the stipulations of the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (or FCRA), which pertain to background checks conducted by outside businesses but not by those down in-house. The FCRA forbids reporting criminal arrests after seven years; however, criminal convictions like DUIs can stay on a person’s report for an indefinite period. The FCRA also imposes reporting restrictions only on jobs that have an annual salary of less than $75,000.

Federal courts, however, have said Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 forbid employers from discriminating against people who have been convicted of a crime unless they believe there is a business reason to do so. This Civil Rights Act interpretation still conflicts with some state laws. The majority of applicants don’t have any idea what happens behind the scenes when applying for a job.

What State Laws Say About Background Checks

The majority of states permit employers from refusing to hire any person who has a criminal record. Many states will also permit employers to refuse applicants who have an arrest record because there is little regulation in this area. 14 states have set legal standards that make employers prove the job relevance of a prospective employee’s conviction. The following states also apply the regulations to the private employers:

- Hawaii
- Arizona
- New Mexico
- Washington
- Kansas
- Colorado
- Minnesota
- Louisiana
- Florida
- Kentucky
- Pennsylvania
- Connecticut
- New York
- Wisconsin

The majority of states call for background checks for particular jobs such as those who work closely with children, elderly or disabled. Having a DUI record does not mean an application is automatically refused for possible employment but it could weigh into the employer’s decision of who to hire for the position. They can see it has a character flaw.

There are many state and federal jobs that demand a background check be done. However, this can depend on the job like people who would need to have security clearance. Any commercial driver who has had DUI on the job or in their private vehicle can be denied access to driving in a professional manner for some time. As of 1999, any person convicted of a major violation in a commercial vehicle, such as a DUI, will have the violation on remain on the CDL record for up to 55 years.


Check out Expunge DUI and how it impacts DUI penalties

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