How DUI/DWI Affects Your Employment Prospects

By Peter, Content Writer Wednesday, 01 February 2023

How DUI/DWI Affects Your Employment ProspectsDriving under the influence or while intoxicated is among the top reasons for car accidents in the United States. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about one person per 45 minutes dies in these drunk driving–related accidents.

Even with a misdemeanour driving charge, it could hurt your chances of getting hired at a preferred job or company. This article discusses whether a DUI or DWI in your record could influence your future career.

Why Employers Run Background Checks

Responsible employers run background checks on all applicants filling job openings. They could enlist the assistance of law enforcement agencies where they could order information or hire the services of third-party data brokers.

But the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), a federal agency established against workplace discrimination, suggests not to exclude all individuals with a DUI charge entirely. Considerations should be in place, even while employers mustn’t ignore a conviction.

You can work with the best Raleigh DWI attorney if you need more information. Here are a few reasons employers check potential employees and their backgrounds, including any DWIs:

  • Prohibiting DUI Convictions

Some positions require the safe operation of vehicles. Driving taxis, trucks and construction vehicles are some jobsthat include daily driving on the road. Applicants with a DUI conviction are not allowed by ridesharing app companies. Getting license back after DWI will likely be restricted as well. A good example is that those with a recent conviction cannot become school bus drivers.

Following traffic rules and regulations and learning functional driving skills are essential to get a driver’s license. But no agency can control every driver to avoid drinking or doing drugs before or during driving. Problematic drivers can create problems for companies, such as subjecting them to liability once the employee is a partyto an accident during work hours. 

  • Restrictions For Employers

While employees can run background verification, they cannot ask job candidates if they have a conviction. This concept is called Ban the Box, a campaign that prevents using checkboxes in hiring applications to protect ex-offenders.

How DUI/DWI Affects Your Employment Prospects

Some laws block employers from learning complete information about a job applicant’s criminal conviction only after the interview. The aim of this campaign is for employers to focus on job qualifications. Employers must refrain from blanket policies that prevent individuals with a conviction history from getting hired.

Employers are not allowed to ask about the following:

  • Arrests: In most states, employers cannot ask about arrests. Candidates don’t have to volunteer the information as well. An employer can find out about convictions later on. Still, they can’t directly ask applicants if they have had arrests for a crime.
  • Juvenile Records: Some states seal juvenile records on crimes committed by minors. You also don’t have to divulge the information if you have a history. But remember that employers may ask because they are allowed to seek that information.
  • Erased Criminal History: Employers cannot inquire about an individual’s expunged criminal history. Suppose you have any arrests, charges, or convictions that have been erased for any reason (with one being employment purposes). You don’t have to disclose it. You don’t need to answer any questionnaires or direct inquiries from the employer during the pre-screening process.

While employers have these restrictions and have to make considerations, they can still be wary of the applicants they let into the company. That’s especially true when the job at least requires you to make use of company vehicles. 

How To Protect Yourself From Discrimination

Not all states delete criminal records. In Virginia, the erasure of criminal history only occurs when the individual has been wrongly accused or proven innocent. But that doesn’t mean that the individual cannot defend themselves.

The applicant can seek legal help from an experienced lawyer to avoid discrimination. Lawyers aware of their state’s DUI laws might appeal on behalf of their clients to erase their criminal history from public view. Candidates can research the matter according to their state laws to gain more insight.

If the employer decides to do a background check, at least what may appear is less damaging than convictions. Applicants could explain it as an isolated misunderstanding so the employer could give them the benefit of the doubt. The goal here is to provide the applicant with a chance to become a responsible member of society without employers worrying about the past. 


A DUI or DWI conviction can affect prospects, which may make employers wary due to the possibility of the company becoming liable for an auto accident. However, the EEOC and the Ban theBox campaign want employers to walk away from discrimination and focus on the candidate’s qualifications instead.

A criminal history doesn’t mean a person won’t learn their lesson. Applicants can refer to their state laws if it’s possible to get their criminal record expunged before applying for a job and seek legal assistance if necessary.

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