With over one million drivers arrested for DUI every year, every employer is bound to run into an applicant who has had a previous DUI record in their criminal history at some point, but what should this mean to an employer? An individual with a DUI on their record paints a picture of a lack of character and judgment that may not be acceptable, but it also points to a liability if the applicant is entrusted with driving during working hours.
If the required job duties of the position involve anything with driving a vehicle, it’s time to look elsewhere. An applicant with a previous DUI represents an open invitation to a lawsuit, especially if the applicant is a repeat offender. You see, an employer takes on the responsibility of an employee’s actions while on company time. This means if an employee drives under the influence and then gets into an automobile accident the employer is then liable for the damages. While the threat of a lawsuit is something any individual convicted of a DUI brings to the table, it’s not the only thing worth considering.
An individual whom decides to drive under the influence is seriously lacking in judgment, there is no doubt. Although the situation could be construed as being motivated by the alcohol, conversely getting into a situation where an individual must drive drunk shows a lack of foresight. If an individual will recklessly endanger his or her own life, along with the lives of others, how dependable can that person be truly? What a DUI shows is a lack of character on the part of the applicant and if an employer decides that lack of character stands as a disqualification from employment, then that is completely justified.
Beyond the severity a DUI and what it can pose to an employer, there are several factors that could make the DUI a none-issue. Of course, if the position’s job duties do not entail any driving responsibilities it may be something an employer can consider looking over. Also, the timeliness of the DUI should be considered when looking into an applicant’s past. If an employer’s state of residence does not contain a seven year statute on criminal reporting than the entire criminal history of an applicant will be at the business’s fingertips. If the DUI is something that’s part of an applicant’s relatively ancient past, why should it be considered when looking to hire that individual? An individual whom has appeared to have learned from their mistakes by not repeating them deserves consideration.
An employer in the position of potentially hiring an individual with a DUI should consider everything mentioned above. With the liability and lack of dependency a DUI showcases it is a scary thing to bring an individual convicted of a DUI onboard. Ensuring that an applicant is a suitable fit for the job responsibilities is the inherit goal of employment background screening and the decision is always left up to the employer; so when dealing with an applicant with a DUI weigh the situational circumstances of the conviction to the job duties.