If I Have a DUI, Will I Fail a Background Check?

Categories: DUI Defense

If I Have a DUI, Will I Fail a Background Check?

Home to countless American landmarks and vacation destinations, Colorado sees millions of visitors each year, in addition to hosting more than 5 million permanent residents. Inevitably, thousands of Coloradans and Colorado tourists receive a DUI conviction at some point or another. After a DUI conviction, many people want to know: Will a DUI fail a background check?

A background check is not something you pass or fail. Instead, it displays certain information about your background to potential employers and other third parties.

Unfortunately, a DUI conviction will almost always appear on a background check. Even if you avoid a conviction, anyone who runs a background check will still see that you were arrested for suspicion of DUI. A DUI on your background carries several negative implications including difficulty obtaining certain jobs, Ineligibility for scholarship opportunities, and higher car insurance rates. Contact Mark S. Rubinstein, P.C., today if you have questions about a criminal background check in Colorado

Will a DUI Fail a Background Check?

A DUI conviction can affect more areas of your life than you may realize. A background check from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation extends back seven years and the Colorado DMV driving records reflect activity from the past seven years.

Employment Opportunities

A DUI conviction can impact your current employment status and your ability to find a different job in the future. If you drive a company vehicle for work and lose your driving privileges after a drunk driving conviction, it can affect your ability to perform your job responsibilities. Without a driver’s license, you cannot apply for positions that require you to drive.


A DUI conviction can cause irreparable harm to your reputation at your workplace and within your community. The conviction may cause others to believe that you are struggling with alcoholism or are prone to making questionable decisions. Some people may cut you out of their lives entirely after a DUI conviction. Our team knows a DUI charge does not make you a bad person. We will work tirelessly to help you avoid a conviction.

Higher Insurance Premiums

A DUI conviction generally triggers an increase in the costs of car insurance coverage.

In Colorado, a DUI raises the cost of an annual car insurance premium by an average of $601. Nationally, a DUI raises the cost of an annual car insurance premium by an average of $1,008.

Paying higher insurance premiums is the last thing you want to do after paying the costs and fines associated with a DUI charge and paying your attorney.

Why Would Someone Want My Background Check?

The most common scenario when someone runs your background check is when you apply for a job. Someone may also run your background when you purchase a firearm in Colorado or when applying for a professional license. You can also run a background check on yourself if you are curious about what prospective employers see.

Criminal Background Checks in Colorado

In Colorado, private employers are prohibited from asking applicants about their criminal history on the initial job application. They are also prohibited from requiring applicants to disclose their criminal history on the initial job application and stating in their job advertisement that people with criminal histories are not allowed to apply.

In certain situations, employers are excused from this requirement and may ask applicants about their criminal record upfront. These scenarios include:

  • When the employer is prohibited by state, local, or federal law from employing individuals with certain convictions;
  • When the employer is required by state, local, or federal law to ask about applicants’ criminal histories; or
  • For jobs that are part of a government program to encourage employment opportunities for individuals with criminal convictions.

During the hiring process, the employer is free to run a background check and will discover any criminal convictions on your record.

State and local employers in Colorado can never ask applicants about their criminal history. They must wait to run a background check until the applicant receives a conditional offer of employment. If the background check shows anything negative, they must determine if it relates to the specific job duties of the position.

Under the Clean Slate Act, arrest records that did not result in a conviction will be automatically sealed beginning in 2024.

What Else Is on a Background Check?

In addition to criminal history, the background check will include information about:

  • Your employment history;
  • Your education history; and
  • Professional license verification.

Employers can also ask applicants to submit to drug screenings as part of the application process.

In Colorado, employers can require applicants to consent to a credit check under three circumstances:

  • When required by law,
  • If the credit check is directly related to the job you applied for, and
  • When the employer is a bank or other financial institution.

Credit checks help single out applicants who are in financial distress and unable to meet their obligations. A financial institution would not want to hire someone who is behind on their bills to manage a customer’s account. If the employer decides not to hire an applicant based on their credit history, they must notify the applicant in writing.

Will a Misdemeanor DUI Affect Employment? Contact Mark S. Rubinstein, P.C. Today to Find Out

A DUI conviction can impact you and your loved one in numerous ways. When you seek the advice of a criminal defense attorney immediately after your arrest, we can review the circumstances of your case to determine whether a legal defense applies. Then, we will negotiate with the district attorney to get your charges reduced or dropped, if possible.

I pride myself on providing you with honest advice, compassion, and an aggressive, effective trial strategy. At our firm, you are more than just another case—you are a valued client whose rights are worth defending. Contact Mark S. Rubinstein, P.C., today to talk to schedule an appointment.

Mark Rubinstein

Attorney Mark S. Rubinstein has been practicing law for more than 30 years, including 25 years in Colorado. He founded Mark S. Rubinstein, P.C., in Carbondale after working for law firms in Denver and earlier in his career in San Diego. He focuses his practice in the areas of criminal defense and personal injury representation, and he is well known throughout western Colorado as an effective and unwavering advocate for his clients.