A person who has a DUI or DWI conviction on his or her record may have a harder time finding employment as a firefighter, but such an offense does not necessarily mean that he or she will never be hired. As with so many jobs, the decision often rests on the shoulders of the hiring manager. Furthermore, each department has its own policies regarding prior convictions.
The majority of fire departments across the country treat many prior convictions, including DUIs and DWIs, as discretionary disqualifiers. What this means is that they can technically prevent someone from being considered for employment, but the decision is up to the discretion of the hiring manager. Under such circumstances, the specific details of the conviction are taken under advisement. A fire department that is desperate for new firefighters may be more willing to hire someone with a DUI or DWI than one that is flooded with applications.
When deciding whether or not to hire someone with a DUI or DWI, most fire departments first consider the date of the offense. If it occurred within the last few years, for instance, the official policy may preclude the hiring of that person. If it happened many years ago and no other offenses have occurred in the meantime, however, the fire department may be more amenable to hiring the individual.
Many times, fire departments are more concerned with looking for patterns of misbehavior that could affect a person’s ability to safely and adequately fulfill his or her duties as a firefighter. As a result, many departments automatically disqualify anyone who has two or more DUI or DWI convictions.
With that being said, many fire departments have zero-tolerance policies regarding DUIs, DWIs and similar convictions. Someone who has been convicted of DUI or DWI should contact the department to find out its official policy before applying.
It’s far better to avoid a DUI or DWI conviction entirely than to have to explain one while applying to be a firefighter. Therefore, it’s crucial to line up exceptional legal representation when facing such charges. Contact a lawyer to find out more about what legal options are available to someone who has been charged with DUI.