Can You Become a Firefighter With a DWI?


Laws pertaining to firefighter fitness to serve vary by state and local municipality. Regardless of geographic location, all potential firefighters are subject to a Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) background check.

Felony Conviction

  • If a firefighter candidate has a felony conviction show up on a BCI background check, she is automatically disqualified from employment consideration. If the driving while intoxicated (DWI) conviction was ruled a felony, a career as a firefighter will not be a possibility.

First Offense

  • A single DWI (sometimes driving under the influence, DUI) conviction may not disqualify a potential firefighter from employment. Either state laws or local fire department guidelines will be the determining factor for further consideration. The length of time between the driving offense and the request for employment will likely be a major factor in consideration for possible employment.

Probation and Injury

  • Firefighters who have not yet had driving privileges restored or are on a court ordered probation will not be considered for employment. Even if the DWI conviction was a misdemeanor, a fire department could disqualify a candidate if the traffic infraction caused injury to a person or property.

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