Just because someone has a DUI or DWI on his or her record does not automatically prevent him or her from becoming a law enforcement officer. It is not unheard of for people with prior convictions for DUI, DWI or other drunk driving offenses to be hired as a police officer. However, there are no clear or uniform set of laws or rules regarding this issue. Different police departments and agencies have different policies regarding prior convictions. Therefore, someone with a DWI or DUI who wants to apply to become a police officer should check with the agency in question prior to doing so.
The circumstances surrounding a person’s DUI or DWI conviction may affect his or her ability to be hired as a police officer. For instance, the date of the conviction often matters. Many police departments will still consider hiring someone with a DUI or DWI as long as the offense occurred a minimum length of time ago. A police department’s official policy may be to disqualify candidates who have DUI or DWI convictions within the last three years, for example.
The number of offenses on an applicant’s record is often taken into consideration too. Many times, for example, a single DUI or DWI conviction will not be enough to disqualify someone for employment as a police officer. However, the odds of finding employment as a police officer may diminish dramatically with each additional offense.
In addition, the type of substance that was involved in the impaired driving incident might also have an effect on a hiring manager’s decision. Those convicted of a DUI or DWI while under the influence of drugs may have a more difficult time becoming a police officer than those who were convicted of alcohol related offenses.
If you want to become a police officer someday and have been charged with a DUI or DWI, it is worth it to do anything in your power to avoid being convicted. Hire an attorney now to increase the odds of a more favorable outcome.