Since “Driving Under the Influence” (DUI) is a criminal offence, and nearly all employers conduct a background check on potential hires, a DUI on your record may seriously affect your ability to obtain gainful employment.
In some fields, including law enforcement, teaching, or other government positions, not only is a background check a certainty– but so is the fact that anyone with a DUI on their record will not receive consideration for the job. The same holds for any job requiring driving for a company.
If an employer inquires whether you have a criminal record before conducting a background check, that DUI means you must answer in the affirmative. Perhaps you can explain the situation– but most employers will hire candidates without criminal records over those with such a history. Even more alarming is that in Canada, a DUI conviction never leaves your record unless you are eligible to take certain steps years later.
Otherwise, no matter how long ago the conviction occurred and possession of a spotless driving record since then, that red flag will appear in any employer background check.
The Vancouver personal injury law firm of Preszler Law can help you fight a DUI arrest. If a conviction has already occurred and sufficient time has passed, we can assist you in receiving a record suspension.
Other DUI issues
Employment is not the only stumbling block for someone with a DUI. Auto insurance premiums will rise after such an offence, and landlords are within their rights to refuse to rent to you. Because a DUI results in a loss of license, that can mean the end of a current job for anyone without other transportation to and from work.
DUI conviction prevention
After a DUI arrest, seek legal counsel immediately. An experienced lawyer may help you avoid conviction. This might involve investigating the behaviour of the arresting officers, ensuring the correct protocol was followed. It might also include analysis of the breathalyzer or other equipment to see if it functioned properly.
A lawyer may negotiate a settlement so that the incident is considered a summary rather than a major offence. Summary convictions are not included in a person’s record. If a DUI conviction does occur, a lawyer will offer advice to limit career and other damage.
In addition to the long-term damage of a DUI conviction, a lawyer can also help avoid or minimize some of the short-term damage, including:
It is a conviction, not an arrest, that puts your name in the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) database– which employers rely on for background checks. If you were arrested but not convicted, your name would not appear in the CPIC, but it remains in the law enforcement system. If a police officer stops you, they can easily find out easily whether there is a prior arrest for a DUI.
If your record remains clean for at least five years after the DUI conviction, you may prove eligible for a record suspension, similar to a sealing of the record. The DUI still exists, but potential employers can no longer access it. The five-year window starts when your fine is paid, not from the date of the arrest or conviction. Fees are also charged for record suspension processing.
However, if the DUI resulted in injuries or fatalities, it becomes an indictable offence. Under such circumstances, at least ten years must pass– again, with a clean driving record– before the driver may apply for a record suspension.
In the past, a record suspension was known as a pardon, although that term is a misnomer. In addition to DUIs, those convicted of related offences may apply for a record suspension– if qualifying. These offences include:
Contact a Vancouver ICBC lawyer
If you were arrested for a DUI or have such a conviction on your record, the ICBC law firm of Preszler Law could help. Obtain a free consultation by calling us today or contacting us online. We will review your case and advise you of your options. We have consultation offices throughout British Columbia and offer legal services in various languages for our clients.