A DUI conviction can follow you for many years. Sometimes, even after you’ve put the experience (the jail time, fines, mandatory alcohol awareness classes license suspension and so forth) behind you, it can re-emerge. For example, when you’re looking for a new job, can a potential employer find out about your DUI and refuse to hire you because of it?
This depends in large part on the employer and on what type of career you have. Many companies ask about both misdemeanor and felony convictions. Most of those also run background checks on potential employees.
A DUI can impact your chances of being hired in some lines of work more than others. Obviously, it could prevent you from pursuing or continuing in any career that involves driving a commercial vehicle. A DUI may also be a problem in a job that involves driving a company vehicle, such as being a salesperson.
If you’re seeking a job that involves interacting with children, such as teaching, any criminal conviction may be a problem. The same is true of jobs that involve handling sensitive information — for example, government or military work.
Even if an employer isn’t prohibited from hiring people with DUIs, you may be in for some tough questions. Therefore, it’s best to be prepared. Don’t volunteer the information, but if a potential employer has learned about it and asks, don’t deny it. That’s only going to make things worse.
However, don’t go into a long explanation. Simply say something to the effect that you displayed poor judgment, you regret your actions and you’ve taken steps to be a responsible person. Maybe you stopped drinking altogether. Perhaps the community service you were assigned led you to volunteer on your own. Let your employer know that this was a one-time mistake (if it was) and that you’ve learned your lesson and used the experience to be a better person. Focus on the person you are now rather than who you were when you got that DUI.
Of course, it’s best if you can avoid a conviction completely. If you’re facing a DUI charge, it’s wise to seek guidance from an experienced Maryland DUI attorney who can help you work to mitigate the impact of the arrest on your future.
Source: Houston Chronicle, “Can a DUI Prevent You From Getting a Job?,” Shala Munroe, accessed May 18, 2018