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What You Need to Know About DUI & Employment Background Checks

DUI & Employment Background Checks

If you have a DUI conviction or impaired driving charge on your record, it can have a major impact on you career, especially if you are required to drive vehicles for the company you are interested in working for. When you apply for a new job, the employer can decide to run a background check on you. Depending on how the employer conducts the background check, your DUI conviction might show up on the report.

Federal Restrictions for Background Checks

All states must adhere to guidelines laid out in the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Although the FCRA prohibits the reporting of criminal arrests after a seven year period, criminal convictions like DUIs can be reported indefinitely. Furthermore, FCRA reporting restrictions only apply to jobs that have a yearly salary of $75,000 or less.

Federal courts have ruled that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prevents employers from declining employment to people with convictions unless it can be proven that there was a legitimate business reason for the decision. However, this interpretation of the act can conflict with state law. The truth is, the majority of job applicants don’t actually have any way of knowing what takes place behind the scenes when they turn in a job application.

State Laws for Background Checks

Many states let employers refuse an employment offer to those with criminal convictions, and some even let companies refuse applicants with arrest records. In the state of Colorado, employers are required to prove the job relevance of a given conviction.

Jobs involving work with children, the elderly, or the disabled require background checks in most states. Although a DUI conviction won’t necessarily disqualify an applicant, it can be factored into the decision making process and may be interpreted as a character flaw.

When it comes to commercial drivers, DUIs committed on the job or in your personal life will make you ineligible to drive in a professional capacity for a specific period of time.

How Is a Background Check Conducted?

There are about 20 different types of information that can show up on an official background check. This information can include:

  • Driving records
  • Vehicle registration
  • Criminal records
  • Court records
  • Character references
  • Neighbor interviews
  • Incarceration records

If you are applying for a job, it is in your best interest to be honest about the information you provide to the employer. An employer is more likely to overlook a DUI conviction than a blatant lie.

However, the internet is also a powerful tool that employers can use to look into your background. Employers can look through public records online and often use sites like Facebook to review job candidates and look for information that doesn’t appear on a formal background check.

Can I Clear My DUI Record

Although this is not always an option and usually depends on certain state regulations, a DUI offender can attempt to have their record expunged. Expungement is a court-ordered process that "seals" your arrest record for a criminal conviction. Expungement does not completely “erase” the conviction, but it does prevent it from showing up on most employment-related background checks.

Do you have a DUI arrest on your record? Is your conviction preventing you from finding gainful employment? Contact our Denver DUI attorneys to find out how our legal team can assist you today.