A DUI or DWI on one’s driving record will negatively affect the person in numerous ways and remain for many years. Current employment can be lost, or getting a job can be difficult or impossible. Any repeated convictions will lead to even more serious consequences. If a judge suspends your license following a DUI or DWI conviction, expect your car insurance to be cancelled and future premiums to be a lot higher.
A DUI/DWI can stay on a record for a minimum of five years. Every state has its own law, and this time could stretch even longer. In California and some other states, previous DUIs remain on record for 10 years or are never removed. In Vermont, for instance, a first-time DUI will always count against you if you are being sentenced for another DUI.
A prior conviction can affect how the judge views your case even if it was 10 or 20 years ago. A second or third offense will bring tougher penalties and the possibility of jail time and fines. If you remain law-abiding following a conviction, a DUI/DWI can gradually have less of an impact on certain situations.
While it may be more difficult to secure employment, it may be easier to be hired if the conviction is not a recent one. Despite the advantages of time, some types of employment could still be out of reach. You may not be able to get a job involving a vehicle, such as employment as a courier, cab driver, school bus driver or truck driver.
A DUI/DWI does not automatically vanish from your driving record after a period of time. In some states, an attorney can have a DUI/DWI conviction removed from a person’s record by “expunction,” which means that someone hiring you or giving you credit will not see the conviction. Not all states permit this; in Georgia, for example, there is no expunction law, and a DUI/DWI conviction can never be removed.
Expunction is usually limited to a first offense or an arrest that does not lead to a conviction. In states that allow it, it is up to the court to decide whether expunction is granted. To determine if there is a legal way to improve your circumstances, obtain the help of a DUI attorney where you live to see what your state laws allow.