How Does a DUI Affect Employment?

By Giselle Diamond

Effects of a DUI on Employment

DUI or DWI stands for "driving under the influence" or "driving while intoxicated." All 50 states have enforced a blood alcohol legal limit as .08 percent. In most states, the first offense is a misdemeanor. You may have to attend alcohol education classes or have an ignition interlock device, or your license may be suspended. When applying for a job, many employers conduct criminal background checks to see if you have any convictions, as well. They may be reluctant to hire you with those convictions.

Alcohol Education

The court may require you to attend. Because they are court-mandate, you will have to plan your work schedule around the class times. Explaining this to your boss will require disclosure of the incident to your employer and, depending on company policy, might cost your job. Even if the company will overlook the conviction, you might be terminated if you cannot be available to work the hours needed.

Suspended License

After a DUI conviction, your your operators’ license may be suspended. If public transportation is not available, this can make getting to work difficult. If you are unable to get there, or if you are consistently late, you may be fired. If your job involves driving for the company, your inability to drive for the period of the suspension may cost you the job. Having a DUI on your record also increases insurance rates, and your company may feel that it is more cost-effective to replace you.

Future Potential Employers

Potential employers may require a background check. A DUI might disqualify you from a position for which you may otherwise be highly qualified. Employers who run a criminal background check may go several years back. Company policies may preclude hiring anyone with criminal convictions of any type.

Expunging Your Record

You may be able to get your DUI expunged. Expungement means cleansing of one's criminal record, or the sealing and destruction of arrest and conviction information. Generally, you will need an attorney's assistance in this process.

About the Author

Giselle Diamond is a freelance writer and has been writing since 1999. Diamond is experienced in writing in all genres and subjects, with distinguished experience in home and garden, culture and society, literature and psychology. Diamond has a Master of Arts in English and psychology from New York University. Diamond has articles published on both eHow and LiveStrong.