Last Updated on 2023-08-15

How To Drive For DoorDash Even If You Have a DUI

We worked with these active, experienced gig-workers to write this article and bring you first-hand knowledge.

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Davis Porter

Experienced writer/researcher in the gig industry working alongside our gig-workers

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Ricardo Cervantes

5 years of experience working across DoorDash and Postmates

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Scott Jones

7 years of experience working across DoorDash, Lyft, Amazon Flex, and Instacart

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Noah Jorstad

Three years of experience working as a DoorDash Dasher

The information provided in this post is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. The content contains general information and may not reflect current legal developments. Any reader should consult with a legal professional to obtain legal advice tailored to their specific circumstances.

Whether it's termed as DUI (Driving Under the Influence), OUI (Operating Under the Influence), or DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) in your region, the offense can have sweeping implications on your employment opportunities.

DoorDash itself has strict policies against DUIs, which both potential and current Dashers must comply with. But then again, it turns out that the company also believes in second chances and recognizes that past errors shouldn't define your future.

Case in point – here’s one Reddit testimonial from a DoorDasher who was accepted with a history of DUI. Their initial application was denied, only for the decision to be overturned after they appealed to a higher tier of management. 

The following post provides clarity on such opportunities.

Here’s a disclaimer, though. This is no substitute for legal advice – it is only meant to give you a sense of the challenges that come with DUIs.

Can you work for DoorDash with a DUI?

Yes, it’s possible. 

A DUI conviction may complicate matters, but it doesn’t lead to an automatic disqualification. Instead, DoorDash evaluates candidates based on a combination of legal factors, safety considerations, and driving history.

Let's say you had a minor infraction a decade ago, followed by years of impeccable driving. In such a scenario, DoorDash might be lenient. But a recent DUI, especially when coupled with a history of reckless driving or other traffic offenses, could tilt the odds against you.

The jurisdiction of the DUI can also influence the decision – different US states have varying thresholds of tolerance. 

For instance, while one state may expunge the records of an old isolated DUI case, others could suspend your driving license for years.

Keep in mind, though –  whichever state you apply from, DoorDash will still check your records across all the jurisdictions.

DoorDash DUI policy strikes a balance

DoorDash's DUI policy is an intricate balance between the company’s core values and its belief in personal growth and redemption.

It tries to maintain high safety standards by selectively recruiting Dashers who have a relatively clean driving history. Candidates convicted of “major violations” are otherwise perceived as risks to the company’s commitment to safety and customer satisfaction. Offenses such as DUIs, driving with an expired or suspended license, and hit-and-run could get your application or account terminated.  

DoorDash further enforces a strict no-alcohol policy while on the job. Any Dasher found consuming alcohol during deliveries faces immediate termination.

However, a DUI conviction doesn’t necessarily prevent you from joining the platform. Instead, DoorDash qualifies individuals based on the severity, timing, and circumstances surrounding their cases. 

That was the case for one of GigWolf's very own reviewers who has been in the gig economy market for about four years now. At first, his virtual DoorDash application was rejected due a past DUI conviction record. The decision was then reversed when he approached one of the platform’s hiring agents at a mall kiosk, and got them to review his case. 

How does DoorDash even find out about your DUI conviction? 

DoorDash uses background checks to vet both potential and current drivers. The process not only verifies an applicant's identity but also detects any recent issues that may influence their role as a Dasher.

Rather than managing the checks internally, DoorDash collaborates with Checkr, a trusted third-party renowned for its secure background screenings. 

Checkr begins by obtaining formal consent from the DoorDash applicant. It then searches through both county and national criminal records to flag any major offenses. Their scrutiny extends even to motor vehicle databases, where they look for moving violations like DUIs.

Once the review is done, the findings are relayed back to DoorDash. Applicants with clean records get to proceed to the next stage of the hiring process. But, if something negative – like a DUI conviction – surfaces, the applicant is notified by DoorDash. 

Background checks are not a one-time affair, though. Even after you've been greenlit as a Dasher, the company still revisits your background about once per year to confirm that you continue to meet their standards. Any new DUI convictions in your record could otherwise get your account deactivated. 

How far back does the background check trace DUIs?

DoorDash typically searches for DUI records going back as far as seven years. This is in line with the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), which often restricts such violation reports to a seven-year window.

It’s worth noting, however, that the reporting duration for DUI records can vary based on the state in which you live. While many jurisdictions maintain DUI convictions on records for approximately seven to ten years, others might remove or expunge a DUI sooner – or, in contrast, retain it longer. The period often depends on the gravity of the offense, any prior convictions, and jurisdictional guidelines.

For instance, some jurisdictions might categorize a first-time DUI as a misdemeanor – thereby restricting the reporting to five to seven years. But, if the DUI resulted in significant harm or, tragically, led to someone's death, even first-time perpetrators could be charged with a felony – subsequently extending the reporting timeframe indefinitely.

Ricardo Cervantes, a DoorDasher of four years, admits that he’s seen DUIs at different levels get varying treatments. In one particularly recent case, a driver’s second DUI almost led to felony charges after they flipped a car with passengers on board.    

Will DoorDash know if your driver's license is suspended? 

Yes, they will any time they run their background check process. Which will happen both when you sign up, and then about once per year thereafter.

This is because DoorDash's background checks are not just confined to criminal records – they cover motor vehicle records as well. 

MVR reports are maintained by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or equivalent agencies, and they contain detailed information about license statuses – including suspensions.

Licenses can be suspended or revoked due to various reasons, ranging from court convictions to administrative actions by safety authorities. With DoorDash's thorough review of these motor vehicle records, a suspended license is unlikely to be overlooked.

For applicants, a suspended license would result in disqualification. Then for active Dashers found driving with such a license, DoorDash would promptly deactivate their accounts.

Should your license get suspended, a possible fix could be to add a co-driver to your account. By partnering with a friend or family member holding a valid license, you can still continue earning without driving yourself. 

Instances when you can drive for DoorDash if you have a DUI

To get hired with a DUI record, applicants must have completed all their legal obligations and sentences, including probation. 

Complementing your application with evidence of rehabilitation could also help. It would demonstrate that you’re indeed committed to turning a new leaf. 

After the DUI, your record should also be free from any additional alcohol-involved accidents or arrests. A single DUI might be a lapse in judgment, but repeated incidents indicate a pattern – and that would be a red flag for DoorDash.

The more time that has passed since the DUI, the better. DoorDash is especially lenient towards past DUI offenders who’ve upheld an unblemished record for the past seven or more years. In some states, having such a clean slate could even help you in convincing the court to expunge the DUI records. 

And while you’re at it, keep in mind that not all DUIs are the same. A case that resulted in minimal damage and zero injuries might be perceived more favorably than one that led to casualties.

How long after a DUI can you drive for DoorDash? 

There isn't a strict, universally applicable post-DUI timeframe for driving with DoorDash. But, the general guideline is seven-plus years – which is after the standard reporting period has lapsed. At least then, the DUI may not be considered in the hiring decision. And even if it is, you’ll have a long clean record streak that should help in proving your worthiness. 

That’s not to say that you should wait for seven good years. The appropriate waiting period post-DUI can vary based on multiple factors – including state regulations, the nature of the DUI, plus special circumstances such as expungement or rehabilitation.

Each state already has its own rules and schedule for DUI records. The window in some is as brief as five years, while in others, a DUI could linger for a decade or longer.

Consider, for instance, an isolated incident that DoorDasher Scott Jones heard of: “The [Dasher] has 7,000 deliveries, over 4 years, with an astounding 4.92 rating, and 96% completion rating. But, despite being a remarkable service provider for over 4 years, DoorDash might go ahead and deactivate his account after finding a new DUI charge on a recurring background check.”

Can I DoorDash with a probationary license? 

Although DoorDash might not have a blanket policy against hiring probationary drivers, the restrictions associated with such licenses can make Dashing challenging. Complications include limited operating hours, regular sobriety tests, and a heightened risk of further convictions.

In Pennsylvania, for example, probationary license drivers can only operate between 6 am and 7 pm. That means you won't be able to make deliveries during peak dinner hours.

Colorado, on the other hand, offers its probationary licenses just 30 days after a suspension. An ignition interlock device will then be installed in your car for sobriety testing.

Due to such complications, it's always advisable to consult with legal counsel and familiarize yourself with your state's rules before DoorDashing with a probationary license. 

What about reckless driving? Is it taken as seriously as DUI? 

Whereas DUIs are undeniably grave offenses, reckless driving isn't taken lightly either. Both indicate a disregard for road safety, but in different capacities.

DUI suggests impaired judgment due to intoxication, while reckless driving points to habitual negligence of road rules.

In the words of Noah Jorstad, who’s been Dashing for over three years, “...a DUI is done by making a poor decision while under the influence. In contrast, reckless driving is intentional and likely a habit of the driver that puts them and others in a dangerous situation..”

To flag past instances of reckless driving, DoorDash pays special attention to the moving violations captured in your motor vehicle records. Some of the offenses in this category include speeding, driving without a seatbelt, illegal lane changes, failure to yield, tailgating, making an illegal U-turn, running a red light, and driving without proper lighting. 

Though these infractions might appear trivial when viewed individually, they can lead to DoorDash account deactivation. The policy is in place to ensure that all drivers maintain a high standard of safety and responsibility on the road.

How to join DoorDash when you have a DUI

With these tips in mind, you'll increase the chances of being accepted as a Dasher – despite the DUI record. 

  • Start an application: The background check step is free, so you’ll understand where you stand after they run the check on your records, and you can decide what to do next from there. It’s possible the DUI won’t show up, or that the time and circumstances surrounding your DUI mean that DoorDash will give you a chance anyway.
  • Consider seeking expungement: If your DUI is the primary concern, look into the possibility of having it expunged from the records. The process differs by state, but it usually entails filing a petition with the court. Once expunged, the DUI is hidden from potential employers, and you won't be obligated to mention it. This process may take some time, so you may want to give the application a try before trying this.
  • Understand your rights: The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) states that if denied employment due to information from a background check, you're entitled to a copy of the report. You can then verify the information and dispute any inaccuracies. The background check company is supposed to investigate and rectify all the flagged errors within a month.
  • Be transparent: Should you opt to continue your DoorDash application without expungement, tackle the DUI topic head-on after it comes up in your background check. Candidness in an interaction with DoorDash support might tilt the scales in your favor. If you get the opportunity, explain the circumstances of the DUI, while outlining any lessons learned and positive changes made since then.

There’s no better was to sum it all up than with the following statement, put forward by Noah and endorsed by Ricardo: “ really seems to be a case by case situation where no one rule can apply to all. Some people who put forth more effort to show they are persistent about being a dasher will have a better result than someone who just sends in an appeals request.”

Take the initiative 

Every setback is a setup for a comeback. So, instead of getting held back by a DUI, use it as a stepping stone to a successful Dashing career. Sign up for DoorDash today and, you never know, they might be impressed by the strides you’ve since made.

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