DUIs & Background Checks in Oregon: How does it affect employment?

A conviction for driving under the influence in Oregon, or any other state for that matter, affects everything from insurance premiums to employment.  In Oregon, a DUI conviction remains on a record forever and will result in more serious consequences if you are charged with another crime in the future.  Most employment applications in 2021 include at least one question regarding a criminal record and unfortunately, a DUI could cost you many employment opportunities. 

If you have been arrested for drunk driving in Oregon, please don’t hesitate to call DUI defense attorney Andy Green. Serving the Greater Portland area including Multnomah, and Washington Counties, Andy is dedicated to doing everything possible to protect your future including your employment and reputation. 

Can a DUI affect my current employment? 

It should be noted that if someone has recently been arrested for a DUI/DUII and has not yet been convicted, this charge should not hurt a current job search unless your driver’s license has been suspended with the DMV due to the Implied Consent laws. However, when an offender is currently employed and gets charged with driving under the influence, most company policies allow for the employee to be fired at the discretion of the company. It is also important to mention that if a person loses their job as a result of a DUI, it is possible that they will not receive unemployment benefits. 

Job titles that require a commercial driver’s license (CDL) to drive such as a commercial truck driver will automatically result in a mandatory termination for a DUI conviction. 

It’s important to point out that under Oregon law, anyone convicted of DUI while holding a commercial driver’s license loses their commercial driving privileges; and CDL holders are denied the option to apply for a hardship permit that could allow them to continue working despite having a suspended license. Needless to say, being convicted of a DUI which requires you to drive for a living most likely will cost you your employment. 

Can a DUI prevent you from getting a job in Oregon? 

One of the most common criminal charges flagged by a potential employer on pre-employment background checks is driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. DUI convictions appear in both criminal background checks as well as DMV driving record checks.  

Will a DUI on your record cause you to fail a background check and prevent you from getting a job in Oregon? Under certain circumstances, yes, but in many hiring situations an employer can use discretion in evaluating the importance and relevance to the job position you are filling. For instance, if you are applying for an outside sales position that would require driving as part of the job description for the company. 

Here are some of the contextual conditions companies consider when hiring a potential applicant with a DUI on their record. 

  • If the position the candidate seeks requires driving a vehicle, operating potentially dangerous equipment (forklift, heavy machinery), working with children, or other vulnerable people.
  • Whether the DUI is a misdemeanor or a felony. Misdemeanors usually are common with first offenses. Felony DUI convictions may indicate repeat offenses which is a huge red flag. 
  • The age of the DUI conviction. In the state of Oregon, a DUI remains on the permanent record for life. A more recent DUI charge will have different implications versus one a decade ago from an applicant with an otherwise clean record. 

Under Oregon’s new “ban the box” law, you may not be excluded from an initial interview solely because of a past criminal conviction, which includes driving under the influence. In addition, under the Portland “ban the box ordinance”, an employer may consider your criminal background check only after making a conditional offer of employment. If the employer decides they no longer desire to hire you based upon what they discovered during the background process they must take certain steps to stay compliant with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).


  • Provide you the applicant with a pre-adverse action letter, outlining the reasons they chose not to hire you based on your background information. 
  • They must give you the applicant time to dispute or correct any false information on the background check. 
  • If they decide to still not hire you based on your fixed or altered background check information they must send an official adverse action letter to you. 

Can I clear my DUI off my record in Oregon? 

Unfortunately, Oregon law prohibits the expungement of DUI convictions off permanent criminal background records, even when such cases have been dismissed after completing the Oregon DUI diversion program.  

Talk to DUI attorney Andy Green about DUI and employment background checks 

If you have recently been charged with a DUI in the greater Portland metro area and have further questions about employment background checks or specifics about your DUI case contact Portland DUI attorney Andy Green for a free consultation.

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