You Can Legally Be Fired or Not Considered for a Job Because of a DUI
The fundamental reason that a DUI can cause such employment headaches is that it gives you a criminal record. That record is public, and since most employers conduct criminal background checks as part of the hiring process, they will know about your DUI conviction, especially if it was during the previous 10 years.
Some employers won’t even get to the point of doing a background check because of a DUI conviction. Many employment applications ask the candidate to reveal whether they have ever been convicted of a crime and if so to provide details about the conviction. If you’ve been convicted of DUI and you put those three letters on that application, it can take you out of the running right then.
There is a growing movement to “ban the box” on job applications so employers can’t ask about criminal history. Such a law is currently working its way through Colorado’s legislature. But even if it passes, it won’t prohibit employers from conducting criminal background checks or prohibit employers from refusing to hire an applicant because of a DUI or other criminal conviction.
Quite simply, you can legally be fired or refused to be considered or hired for a job because of a DUI conviction. That doesn’t mean you will be; not every employer will consider a DUI a disqualifying fact. But many will.
Some Jobs Will Be Out of Reach
Some jobs are simply off-limits to people with a DUI conviction on their record. A DUI can preclude you from obtaining a job that involves driving, transportation, or operating heavy machinery. Just like your auto insurance rates will go up after a DUI, employers’ rates will too (or they won’t be able to get insurance at all) if they hire someone with a DUI for a job that involves driving.
If you work in a profession that must be licensed by the state of Colorado, you will have to report your DUI conviction to the licensing body. Depending on the profession, your conviction could result in a suspension or revocation of your license to practice, regardless of what any employer may think.
If you have or are applying for a job that requires federal security clearance, a DUI conviction can result in that clearance being revoked or denied.
You May Have a Job, But How Will You Get to Work?
Even if you get a new job or keep your current one after a DUI conviction, you still may face challenges just getting to work. Your driving privileges will likely be suspended or revoked for some time after an arrest, and a conviction can limit your ability to drive to work even more. While the law does allow for work-related exceptions that will allow you to get to and from your job while your license is suspended, there is no guarantee you will be afforded that opportunity. If you can’t make alternate transportation arrangements, you simply may not be able to do your job.
A Colorado Springs DUI conviction can and will have an impact on your career. That is just one of many reasons you should hire an experienced and skilled Colorado Springs DUI defense attorney as soon as possible after you have been arrested. Your attorney can fight the charges, work to keep the consequences to a minimum, and keep you on the job.