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Should You Hire Someone with a DWI Conviction?

Should you hire an employee with a background that includes a DWI conviction? This is a question that many HR managers ask themselves once they receive a background screening report on a potential employee, and it can be a tough question to answer. DWIs are the most common conviction in the U.S., so most HR managers will find themselves facing a report with a DWI conviction at some point in their career.

Statistics indicate that as many as one in three people are touched by an injury involving an alcohol-related auto accident. On the other side of the issue, there is a large percentage of people who have, at some point in time, had that second glass of wine with dinner and proceeded to drive home. The hiring decision is always yours to make as a manager, but there are a few things to consider that can help you to make an objective and strategic move, as opposed to a selection that is based on a personal or emotional bias.

Each year in the U.S., one percent of all licensed drivers are arrested for DWI—more people than for any other crime. This is consistent with what we see at KRESS when we run background checks for employers. What does this mean to you as a hiring manager? The question boils back down to whether you should hire an employee with this background or not.

While we do believe past behavior is a good predictor of future performance, the answer, as usual, is that it depends. One should consider the following factors when evaluating or creating your HR policy with regards to this type of conviction: the circumstances of the conviction, essential job functions of the individual’s potential position, and the recidivism rate for this type of offense.

Want to find out which positions are high-risk? Download our guide to understand DWI convictions and top 10 convictions in the U.S.

[Download Guide]

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