Can a DUI Prevent You from Getting a Job?

Understand Your OUI Rights.

A DUI conviction could make it more difficult to get job. Employers can conduct a criminal background check to see if you have any convictions. Nonetheless, you do have some rights as a job applicant.


If you are convicted of a DUI in Massachusetts, that conviction will appear on your criminal record. This is also known as your CORI, or “Criminal Offender Record Information.” Employers are permitted to run criminal background checks on anyone who applies for a position at their organization. They will typically do so through the government or through a third-party organization.

If you have a DUI conviction on your record, it will appear in a criminal background check. Like many other states, Massachusetts law permits employers to deny employment or fire employees for almost any reason, unless that reason is due to discrimination or retaliation.

Simply put, a DUI conviction could make it more difficult for you to get a job.

Ultimately, it will be up to the hiring manager to decide whether you’re a good fit for their organization.

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Your Rights as a Job Applicant

Despite the difficulties a DUI can have on your career, Massachusetts has some of the strongest protections for job applicants in the country.

Employers cannot ask about any kind of criminal record information on written applications. They must also acquire permission from you to perform a criminal background check.

Additional rules apply if an employer decides to ask you about your criminal history. Your CORI contains all your criminal court appearances, arrests, dismissals and criminal violations. However, it is illegal for an employer to ask certain questions about this information.

For example, employers may not maintain a record of, ask you questions about, or base any employment decision on the following:

  • Arrests that did not lead to a conviction
  • Your first conviction of drunkenness, simple assault, or other specific minor infractions
  • Misdemeanors that are five years old
  • Sealed court records
  • Juvenile records

However, employers can ask if you have ever been convicted of a felony. They can also ask if you’ve been convicted of, or released from, incarceration for a misdemeanor that doesn’t apply to the restrictions above.

DUI and Your Future Employment

If you are a licensed professional, such a nurse, commercial driver, insurance, or real estate professional, a DUI conviction may greatly affect your ability to renew your license. A DUI may result in probation periods or your license being suspended or revoked.

Positions at some organizations have strict codes of conduct. A DUI may be viewed as a violation of those codes of conduct. These positions may include:

  • Positions in public office
  • Positions involving the care of others, such as healthcare workers or social workers
  • Positions in law and law enforcement, such as lawyers, judges, and police officers
  • Transportation positions, such as bus drivers, taxi drivers, and commercial drivers
  • Positions in the military
  • Positions involving childcare and working directly with children

Employers can ask questions about convictions that are directly related to the job you are applying to.

5 years after a misdemeanor conviction or the end of a period of incarceration for a misdemeanor offense, you may request to have your record sealed. This period is 10 years for a felony. Sealed records are not available to the public, but still count toward your record in legal proceedings.

If you’ve been charged with DUI and are awaiting trial, you are still considered innocent until proven guilty. Discuss your case with a Massachusetts DUI attorney as soon as possible. They’ll examine the details of your case, walk you through the legal process, and mount a defense for you in court.

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Call DUI Attorney Joseph J Higgins for a free case evaluation today at 508-930-4273