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Will a DUI Show on a Criminal Background Check?

will a dui show up on a criminal background check

The most common crime most felons are charged with is driving under the influence. When applying for a job, most organizations run a background check on potential employees.

Whether they are looking to check their criminal history or driving history, a DUI will pop up on both background checks.

What Does a DUI Conviction Mean?

If the authorities arrested you for driving under the influence and you served your time, you will still be ineligible to work for certain industries. Operating an automobile in any organization is out of the question since such organizations do not hire felons with a driving offense.

The only way you will be able to get a job in this industry is if it has been a long time and your organization is open to accepting you as per the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

If the authorities arrest you for driving under the influence and you’re worried about your future then here are a few helpful answers.

Does A DUI Show Up On A Background Check?

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is not only a criminal offense but it is also considered to be a violation of driving laws. A person with a DUI conviction will show up on a criminal background check as well as a driving background check.

If your case is pending, your arrest warrant will still show up. Even if there was no conviction, your employer will still know you were questioned regarding DUI.

will dui show on a criminal background check

Certain organizations do not dig deep and this means that a non-conviction DUI will not show up in a pre-employment background screening. This is because it does not comply with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Background Check Failure

If a candidate failed their DUI test, this will show up on the background test. Once you pass the test, this doesn’t show since you proved you didn’t drive under the influence. If the person consumed negligible or no alcohol at all, the authorities let them off with a warning with no charges pressed.

In cases where the person consumed a lot of alcohol or illegal substances then the authorities press criminal charges. Depending on the kind of job at hand, an employer has the right to hire or reject a candidate because of the DUI charge.

Hiring Decisions

If you were charged for DUI and you are wondering whether or not an organization will hire you then let’s take a look at the criteria they consider while making a hire.

Company Policy

All companies have certain policies concerning hiring felons. If you plan on applying for a job then the first step would be to enquire whether or not they are open to hiring felons.

Requirements For A Driving License

When applying for a job you should also check if it involves handling automobiles or equipment. Ideally, a felon charged with DUI cannot get this position.

Misdemeanor Or Felony

A person may be charged with driving under the influence for a misdemeanor or felony. A misdemeanor is more common and authorities let off first-time offenders with a warning.

will dui show on criminal background check

A conviction is common with individuals who were involved in a major accident that could lead to severe injury or death. It is even more severe where minor children were involved at the time of being under the influence.

While a misdemeanor could be given a job in any organization that may require driving, those that were charged with a major felony conviction may never get behind the wheel at an organization.

Age Of Offence

If your DUI is over 10 years old then it may not show up at the time of a background check. As per law, some states cover up a DUI older than 7 years.

Although this will not show up in your criminal background check, it can still show up in your driving background check. The organization runs this check if you have to drive a vehicle on the job.


If you were heavily intoxicated or under the influence of illegal drugs and you spent time in rehabilitation, this is also taken into consideration when applying for a job. Some organizations are more than happy to hire people who have made an effort to change their old ways.

Legal Consideration

There would be times when your driving background check and criminal background check contradict one another. Organizations stay away from hiring someone who was under the influence when job requirements involve handling heavy vehicles such as a school bus or medical vehicles.

will dui show on the criminal background check

Sometimes, the operations team does not appreciate it when a potential employee is rejected based on a criminal record. In such a situation, the organization may discuss it with the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act to ensure the decision is correct. Let’s look at a few legal issues considered in the case of a DUI.

Federal Laws

An employer must follow the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act laws while running a background check on a candidate. Based on the law, these are the steps they should follow.

  • Intimate a candidate in writing before running a background check on them
  • Obtain written consent from the applicant before running the check
  • If something on the background check comes up due to which the candidate is not hired, they must be given a chance to dispute the inaccuracies, if any, with the background checking company
  • Follow the protocol for adverse action process if the decision falls in favor of the candidate

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Every individual has certain rights and employers cannot violate them. This holds even during the hiring process. Just because an individual has criminal charges against them does not mean they shouldn’t be given an equal opportunity at an organization.

The organization has the right to reject an individual under the following circumstances:

  • Because of a past arrest or a criminal conviction.
  • An individual who has a DUI conviction and if the job requires them to drive vehicles.

The commission handles each case differently. If an individual undergoes rehabilitation then he deserves a fair chance at an organization that requires vehicle handling.

Department Of Transportation’s Drug And Alcohol Clearinghouse

Every employer that hires a commercial driver requires a commercial license. Once an individual clears the DOT’s drug and alcohol clearinghouse screening, the authorities issue the license.

Individuals arrested for DUI and failing this test should undergo rehabilitation. In certain cases, safety-sensitive positions such as handling an ambulance or a school bus may not be given consent.

State Laws

Every state has its law concerning past convictions related to DUI. While every organization enquires about criminal convictions including a DUI charge, this often plays a critical factor in whether or not the organization hires them.

The state has the right to change the law whenever they feel the need. Certain states prevent employers from hiring felons that had a DUI under a misdemeanor unless they undergo rehab. In certain states, an individual arrested under the influence should undergo rehab before starting afresh.

The background check provides such information including details of the completed rehab. Making the right decisions after your DUI conviction is important.

Prepare Yourself

You should take your time to explain the situation and let the employer know what had happened. If you feel you were not to blame or you would like them to know that you have now changed then convince them.

Let them know what you did to change, for example going into rehab. If it was a first-time offense, most organizations will not take the DUI charge seriously unless the job involves driving.

If an individual has a DUI charge apart from other felonies then the organization has the sole discretion to choose whether or not to hire them based on what the other charges are. In case you are confused about what shows up in your background check you can always run it.

This will enable you to come up with answers before the interview. It is important to make a good impression in front of your potential employers. They should be able to see past your charges or your brush with the law. This will give you an equal opportunity to prove your skills.

Final Words

Most DUI charges are for individuals who are at a young age of 18 to 25 years. Employees tend to favor people who were young at the time of the crime.

Employers believe that everyone makes mistakes however the best candidates are the ones that work on those mistakes and don’t repeat them. You need to remember that your DUI alone cannot hamper the chances of you being employed.

Try to show the interviewer you have changed and your charges are a thing of the past. You need to keep up your good behavior once you move past your DUI charge.

This will give your employer confidence and you will receive additional responsibilities at the workplace in a few months. Not only will this help kickstart your career, but it will also give you the opportunity to forget past mistakes and move forward.

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