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Can a drunk driving conviction affect a person's job prospects?

When a drunk driving conviction is on a person's record, it can lead to all sorts of unwanted consequences. One of those consequences has to do with the individual's future employability. How can a DUI affect one's ability to get a job?

All states in the nation, including New York, must adhere to the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act, which addresses the issue of background checks. A person's arrest record cannot be reported after seven years have passed, but this is not so when one is convicted of a crime, which may always be reported. In addition, the FCRA reporting restrictions are only imposed on those positions that pay less than $75,000 annually.

That being said, in fourteen states, including New York, the weight given to such convictions when it comes to a person's job application must be relevant to the job. In New York, these laws apply both to public and private employers.

Certain jobs require that applicants undergo a criminal background check. For example, jobs involving minors, senior citizens or those with disabilities may require potential employees to undergo a criminal background check. In addition, if a person is required to drive for their job, such as commercial drivers, a drunk driving conviction could remain on that individual's record for many years, even decades in some circumstances.

A background check can include a variety of information. When it comes to a drunk driving conviction, the background check could examine the individual's driving record, court records, character references and more.

Those who are applying for jobs after a drunk driving conviction should be aware that the conviction could impact their hiring potential. Those with questions about the law surrounding drunk driving convictions and job applications may want to bring the matter up to an attorney, who can help explain how the law applies to their particular situation.

Source: FindLaw, "DUI and Employment Background Checks," Accessed Oct. 26, 2015

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