A DUI or DWI can occur when someone gets caught driving drunk or otherwise impaired. These are very serious charges that reflect risk-taking on the part of the driver.
If you are looking to hire a commercial driver, you might discover that they have a DUI charge in their past. Does this mean you should not hire them?
The Increased Risk of DUI Charges
An impaired driver cannot operate their vehicle in an alert manner. Intoxication might lead to dizziness, memory lapses, blurred vision and loss of motor skills, among other negative effects. Each of these could limit someone's ability to drive safely. They might drive up the risk of accidents, hit-and-runs or other driving mistakes. States' DUI laws exist to try to combat such hazards.
To auto insurers, DUI charges represent costs risk. They show the insurer that you have a higher chance of filing a claim. As a result, the insurer might increase a driver's premium, or even decline to cover them. Indeed, hiding a DUI charge from an insurer might mean a termination of a policy.
What Does This Mean For Companies With Drivers?
If you run a driving business, such as a delivery service, then you might hire employee drivers. You will also need to carry commercial auto insurance. To cover each driver, you might even need to list them on your policy.
Each driver will come with a designated level of risk attached to them. Therefore, each will pose a driving risk to your company, the vehicle and everyone else on the road. So, if the driver has a DUI charge on their record, then they will pose an even more significant driving risk. If the driver were to drive on business while intoxicated, any accident might impact the company. Insurance rates might increase, lawsuits might result and a PR nightmare could develop.
So, if an applicant has a previous DUI charge, should you hire them?
Often, this is up to the discretion of the hiring entity. If a driver has a recent DUI charge, as opposed to one ten years ago, then they are likely a higher risk. So, you should weigh the DUI alongside such other factors as the driver's full record. For example, if the DUI was a one-time occurrence, then the new driver might pose a lower risk than someone with a long history of driving mistakes.
If you do decide to a driver with a DUI charge, recognize that you are taking on a higher-risk driver. You might have to accept any rate or coverage changes to your auto insurance that could result.