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How to Get a Job with a DUI/ DWI

Updated on September 22, 2013
Don't you wish finding a job with DUI conviction was this easy?
Don't you wish finding a job with DUI conviction was this easy? | Source

Just Keep Swimming

If this is your first DUI conviction you will realize that life is going to get tough, and I mean really tough, but just understand that your life is not over, nor will it be over. Here are some ideas to help you get through it.

1. Take things one day at a time. You are never going to be able to solve your DUI situation all in one day, so therefore don't think you have to.

2. Choose this experience to add fuel to your fire. Become passionate about your life and how lucky you are to be alive. Use this new found hope to dig yourself out of the hole and reach the top of the mountain.

3. Learn to ask for help. You were probably drinking with friends the night you got your DUI. Ask for help from your peers when you need it in order to take some of the load off of yourself.

4. Know when you have a problem. Are you still drinking or have you changed your life. Commit to change now in order reach your goals or you're going to end up in the same position you were.

5. Understand that you haven't reached rock bottom, because rock bottom is death.

The job you love is not the same as the job you need.

One of the largest challenges in facing life after a DUI is for a person to understand that it is not the end of the world. You are going to be able to get a job but it may or may not be the job you want, but it’s possible. Getting a job is not very hard but getting a job that you love is in-fact harder. There are some people that have worked their whole life in search of a job that they love and have never found it. Therefore, it is a good thing to keep things in perspective.

Here are some things that you could do in order to get that job you love:

  1. Understand why employers look negatively on a DUI.
  2. Try to get the DUI removed.
  3. Be honest with your potential employer, but not that honest.
  4. Come to grips that you are now in the bottom of the barrel.
  5. Stick out to potential employers.
  6. Show your community that you care and have given back for your wrong doing.
  7. Grow older.
  8. Choose a job that doesn't require a high security clearance.


Understand why employers look negatively on a DUI.

Your future employers look negatively on a DUI conviction for several reasons. Here's a quick list:

1. You are a liability and could harm yourself or others.

2. You make poor decisions. You made a poor decision to over-drink and with a job where you are dealing with millions of dollars making bad choices is not an option.

3. You will reflect poorly upon a company's reputation and mission. If a company is known to hire several felons or convicts, it will either look good or bad, and more times than not- bad.

Does your state offer DUI or misdemeanor expungement?

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Try to get the DUI removed

In some states, it is completely possible to have your DUI conviction expunged, but, trust me, this will not happen over-night. States vary on the laws regarding this and unfortunately in some states such as Alabama; it is easier to get a felony off of your record than it is to get a misdemeanor expunged.

Google search your state name and expungement laws or just contact a local lawyer.

Honesty is the best policy.

Read a job application carefully and be sure to disclose information of your DUI if required, but do not state too much information. You definitely don't want to go into details such as you getting into a car accident in the process or you injured a family. ONLY give information that is requested.

In the past I have used the following:

"Convicted of a misdemeanor DUI in March 2010, but since that time I have undergone treatment programs and have given back to the community."

It's the honest Truth right?

Your employer may hire people with prior convictions and want to just solely make sure that the case is closed. If an employer hires someone that could potentially go back to jail, then they are at the risk of being short-staffed until you could be replaced.

Great job search resources that helped me

Knock 'em Dead 2013: The Ultimate Job Search Guide
Knock 'em Dead 2013: The Ultimate Job Search Guide

Amazing book- The "Bible of job searching"


Come to Grips That You are Now the Bottom of the Barrel

Now that you have been convicted of a DUI/DWI, you must come to terms that you are now at the bottom of everything no matter how qualified you are. If you take the time to psych yourself up, and allow yourself to accept this it will make rejection a lot easier. Many times in life, we give up after failing, but those who are stronger will get back up and that is exactly what you have to do. It's not going to be easy, because you are now thought of as a criminal, but you can make yourself known as a person who made a mistake and learned from them.


Stick Out to Potential Employers

In order to get that job you love you must set yourself apart from the competition- a competition that may not have a couple of misdemeanor offenses on their record. You must stand out and be the best. Did you send a personalized thank you to your interviewer? Did you research the company and seem knowledgeable about it during the interview?

Many times you may not even be called for an interview if the background check takes place before potential interview candidates are chosen. It is critical if you are given an interview that you execute the interview as professionally as possible.

You must be the following:

  • punctual
  • professionally dressed and pressed
  • have good hygiene
  • a nonsmoker ( you should stop smoking 2 days in advance so the nicotine doesn't seep through your pores in the interview and cause you to smell foul.)
  • prepared- research the company, Google sample interview questions, and deliver them

Show your community that you care

When you received your DUI/DWI conviction you didn't just harm yourself by having a ton of fines, classes, and raised insurance; you hurt the community. You could have potentially killed someone else or ruined their lives as a direct result of your violation, therefore, you must give back to the community and it looks great if you do this voluntarily and it's not court-mandated.

Here are some ways you can give back:

  • work at a soup kitchen
  • volunteer at Habitat for Humanity
  • help others in self help programs
  • help others around your neighborhood
  • google search local programs in your area
  • help out at church

All of these things can not only improve your reputation, but also provide a solid foundation for achieving your goals. When you are active in your community, you are going to meet several new people and these people can provide letters of recommendation as well as job opportunities through their social network. So use this tool to your benefit.

How long ago was your DUI conviction?

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Grow Older

So you're probably thinking everyone is growing older, which is true, but it just so happens the longer the time has passed since the DUI conviction the less damaging it becomes. If it has been a period of ten years since your DUI and it's apparent that you have changed your life, then that DUI would look like you just made a very expensive mistake.

Choose a job that doesn't have a high security clearance

Remember that thing I mentioned earlier about being at the bottom of the barrel? Well, this definitely applies for jobs that a high security clearance is required. Many times even getting your clearance approved will be a big ordeal.

I know a guy who got 2 DUI's and is working as an instructor in a private maximum security prison. So it's definitely not impossible, but he has stated that it took a month get his clearance back.

Are you Good ex-offender? or a bad one?

Bad Ex-offender
Best Ex-offender
Still drinks
Drinks occasionally and still gets drunk
Rarely drinks and is very responsible in any situation when doing so
Does nothing
Is trying to get their life back together and focused on themselves
Has a desire to give back to the community and wishes to repair his life and others simultaneously
Believes that his life is over
Believes that life sucks
Believes that a new chapter in life is opening up to them
Blames the cops and friends
Hasn't admitted their problem
Has fully accepted the wrongs of their actions and blames themselves.
Makes several excuses
Makes excuses
Doesn't make excuses
Believes they have hit rock bottom
Believes they are close to hitting rock bottom
Believes that death is the only way to hit the bottom.


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    • b-ageless profile image


      4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

      I enjoyed reading this. I like your honest perspective. People who have DUI's are not bad people! Another way that you may consider giving-back is by becoming a D.D.[designated-driver].


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