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Old 07-18-2016, 07:38 PM
4 posts, read 3,165 times
Reputation: 10


Hi all. I could use some advice on how to handle an impaired driving conviction that is on my record from last year. The charge I was convicted of is an OWVI here in Michigan. It is a misdemeanor, and I plead guilty to the charge. There was no accident or injuries for which I'm very grateful - believe me. I was simply pulled over. I guess the officer thought I was driving too tentatively. I'm afraid I can't chalk this up to youthful indiscretion either, as I'm in my very late 40s. This is my first and only DUI, however. My driving record was great up until this point. I went over to a friend's place for dinner and had a few drinks then switched to soda thinking I would be over there for several hours after consuming the beers - that was the plan anyway. I was wrong, as the event broke up earlier than anyone anticipated, and I made the stupid decision to drive the 2 miles home - dumbest decision I have ever made. I have definitely learned from this experience.

Anyway, getting back to the job search, I know that I plan to be upfront and transparent as possible if fortunate enough to be invited for an interview/receive an offer. I guess the question is how and when to divulge the above information? Obviously, it would not be a good idea to address this in a cover letter, as I would never get a call for an interview. It also seems like an awkward thing to bring up in an initial interview unless the other party creates an opening for me to discuss the subject. Would it be better to wait until further interviews or wait until an offer is made (contingent on successful background check)? I have seen some posts suggesting that alerting HR prior to the background check is the way to go. I'm not sure what the proper protocol is these days. On the one hand, I want to "market" myself in the best way possible to potential employers. On the other, I want to be honest about the incident.

I have to admit that I am very worried about this. My career field is information technology, specifically in the healthcare sector (not direct patient care, however). I would appreciate any advice that can be offered, especially from HR professionals, hiring managers or others involved in the hiring process. I would also like to hear any "success" stories regarding people in similar situations being able to land employment after dealing with this issue, so I can have some hope. I apologize for the length of this post. Thanks for your help.
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Old 07-18-2016, 08:13 PM
18,905 posts, read 11,546,271 times
Reputation: 31841
Do You Have to Disclose DUI Arrests, Convictions on Job Applications? - FindLaw Blotter

DUI and Employment Background Checks - FindLaw

Ask the Headhunter: Will a DUI in my background cost me a job? | PBS NewsHour
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Old 07-19-2016, 05:18 AM
10,145 posts, read 17,910,845 times
Reputation: 19474
I wouldn't bring it up at all. Unless you are driving a company vehicle, most jobs won't be too concerned about it.
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Old 07-19-2016, 08:34 AM
4 posts, read 3,165 times
Reputation: 10
Default Thanks

Thanks for the responses. I notice that many more job apps don't ask questions about criminal convictions up front anymore, which leads me to believe those questions are reserved for background checks if offered the position. I'm less inclined to bring it up during the initial stages of the process, if it happens, but I don't want HR to be blind-sided when coming across the information. They won't appreciate that. I think there was a poster here on City-Data that mentioned how upset a hiring manager was with him for bringing up the subject later in the process, thanking him for "wasting my time". Since I'm targeting an IT position in the healthcare space, are there any issues that come up there? I realize that there are issues when working with children, the elderly and/or disabled directly, but information tech is not really considered patient care, per se (one could make the argument that all work performed in healthcare is related to patient care in some manner).

Also, I imagine that if the job posting specifically mentions that you will drive from one of the employer's locations to another, using your own vehicle, that job is off limits to someone like me?

Thanks again.
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Old 07-20-2016, 05:38 PM
11,804 posts, read 14,896,284 times
Reputation: 19745
1 dui or dwi didn't matter much to me when I was hiring. I appreciated when candidates were honest with me so I didn't think they were trying to get away with something.

I'm not sure but driving a personal vehicle for business would probably be an issue. If you did get in an accident I suppose your company could be sued.
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Old 07-21-2016, 09:30 AM
Location: Chicago area
9,434 posts, read 14,044,955 times
Reputation: 17317
It depends on the person hiring. Personally I hate drunk drivers and if I found out their resume would go straight into the trash. To myself, that is a much stronger indicator and level of irresponsibility and inconsideration for others than a bad credit score or poor interview.

Last edited by MSchemist80; 07-21-2016 at 10:18 AM..
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Old 07-21-2016, 08:08 PM
4 posts, read 3,165 times
Reputation: 10
I recently filled out an online application where it asked if I had ever been convicted of a felony to which I answered 'no' (my OWI was a misdemeanor). There was a space to explain your answer, but I assumed this was reserved for an affirmative response. How would HR look at that? Should I have included a description stating I had a misdemeanor?
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Old 07-22-2016, 05:17 AM
10,145 posts, read 17,910,845 times
Reputation: 19474
Keep your pie hole shut. The question asked if you were convicted of a felony. The answer is no. Period. The space is to explain an affirmative answer. Answer what is asked.
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Old 07-22-2016, 08:25 AM
Location: Tennessee
26,694 posts, read 19,759,653 times
Reputation: 31915
It's clear this was not a felony. Misdemeanors are sometimes overlooked - felonies, almost never.
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Old 07-23-2016, 07:03 AM
Location: Phoenix, AZ > Raleigh, NC
15,747 posts, read 20,260,387 times
Reputation: 25771
It's been a few years, but I'll respond based on my experience in HR and hiring.

Don't bring it up until somebody says they are running a background check. Then, explain it yourself - as briefly as possible. Your OP would be too long of an explanation. Practice this short, but sincere explanation until you're comfortable with it, preferably in front of a mirror. If you're face to face (versus on the phone) look directly into their eyes, not down in your lap.

You DO want to warn them BEFORE they see it on the background check. Nobody likes surprises and honesty is the best policy.

No, do not include this on an application asking about felonies. No, this unfortunate episode does not exclude you from jobs that require you to use your personal or a rental vehicle for work.

Good luck!
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