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How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record? State Guide

If you're convicted of driving while under the influence (DUI) of drugs and/or alcohol, that conviction can stay on your driving record for five to 10 years or longer, depending on your state. Your criminal record, however, will likely show your DUI conviction for life.

A DUI conviction also comes with legal and financial consequences. Beyond paying fines and severe penalties, you can face jail time, the suspension of your driving privileges, and a 67% increase in your car insurance premiums. Keep reading to learn how DUIs can affect your life and finances.

Table of Contents:

How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Driving Record?

For most states, a DUI will stay on your driving record for five to 10 years. Some states, however, will not wipe a DUI conviction from any driving records. These states include Alaska, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, and Nevada, among other states.

The length of time a DUI stays on your driving record will vary by state.

Many states enforce a point system, in which your driving privileges are suspended after reaching a certain number of points. Points are gained for various traffic violations besides DUI, including speeding and running red lights. Although, some states will automatically suspend a driver's license after a DUI, regardless of how many points (if at all) have been accrued.

A DUI conviction will appear on both a person's driving record and criminal record. States, however, typically don't set a timeline on when a DUI would fall off criminal records. Where your driving record may be cleared, a DUI conviction remains in your criminal history record forever until it is expunged (more on that later).

DUI and Driving/Criminal Records by State

The length of time a DUI stays on your driving record will vary by state. The time limits listed below may reflect how far back your employers and insurance carriers can check for convictions (e.g., insurance companies can access a three-year driving record), but the DUI may still exist on your complete driving record. Some states do not specify how long it would take for a DUI to fall off your driving record but it typically takes up to 10 years.

Keep in mind that expunging your DUI may only be available to first-time offenders and those under 21. In some states, a DUI expunction is not possible at all. You should consult legal counsel to learn the nuances concerning DUIs in your state.

State

Time Visible on Driving Record

Can Expunge From Criminal Record?

Alabama

5 years

Yes

Alaska

Lifetime

No

Arizona

Lifetime

No

Arkansas

Not specified

Yes

California

10 years

Yes

Colorado

7 years

Yes

Connecticut

7 years

Yes

Delaware

5 years minimum

No

Florida

75 years

No

Georgia

Not specified

No

Hawaii

Not specified

Yes

Idaho

Not specified

No

Illinois

Lifetime

No

Indiana

Not specified

Yes

Iowa

12 years

No

Kansas

Lifetime

No

Kentucky

5 years

Yes

Louisiana

Not specified

Yes

Maine

Lifetime

No

Maryland

3 years

No

Massachusetts

Not specified

No

Michigan

Lifetime

Yes

Minnesota

Lifetime

No

Mississippi

10 years

Yes

Missouri

10 years

Yes

Montana

Lifetime

Yes

Nebraska

5 years

No

Nevada

Lifetime

Yes

New Hampshire

Not specified

Yes

New Jersey

10 years

N/A*

New Mexico

55 years

No

New York

15 years

No

North Carolina

7 years

No

North Dakota

Not specified

Yes

Ohio

Not specified

No

Oklahoma

Not specified

Yes

Oregon

Not specified

No

Pennsylvania

10 years

Yes

Rhode Island

Not specified

Yes

South Carolina

Not specified

No

South Dakota

Not specified

Yes

Tennessee

10 years

No

Texas

Lifetime

Yes

Utah

10 years

Yes

Vermont

Not specified

No

Virginia

11 years

No

Washington

Lifetime

No

West Virginia

Not specified

Yes

Wisconsin

Lifetime

Yes

Wyoming

Lifetime

No

*In New Jersey, a DUI is considered only a traffic offense and would not appear on your criminal record.

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DUI and Legal Consequences

Many states are tough on drunk driving and may enforce the following DUI penalties following a conviction:

  • License suspension: Your license will likely be suspended, barring you from driving a motor vehicle. The revocation period can vary based on state and whether you have a prior DUI conviction.

  • Incarceration: You can serve jail time following a DUI conviction. The time spent in jail increases if you've had a prior DUI conviction (e.g., 10 days for the first offense, 90 days for the second).

  • Home arrest with electronic monitoring: You may face confinement at home, while wearing electronic transmitters on your body (usually your ankle) to ensure you're within court-authorized proximity to your residence.

  • Complete an alcohol treatment program: Convicted drivers may be required to complete a state-sanctioned drug and alcohol education or treatment program.

  • Victim restitution: Pay compensation to victims who suffered bodily injury, property damage or other losses due to your DUI.

  • Community services: Complete community service for a minimum number of hours. Services include volunteering for charity and cleaning local parks.

  • Fines: You may be subject to various fines, including a fee to reinstate your license.

  • Ignition interlock device: Install a device that measures your breath alcohol concentration. If the alcohol concentration is too high, the device prevents your vehicle from starting.

  • Vehicle impoundment/confiscation: Your vehicle may be impounded after a DUI arrest, especially for underage or extreme DUI cases.

How To Get a DUI Off Your Driving Record

Below are the various ways to clear your driving record of a DUI conviction:

Drive with a clean record until the time threshold. Generally, your DUI conviction will stay on your record until the time threshold is reached — up to 10 years for most states. If you live in Washington, Wisconsin or another state that does not wipe clean your DUI conviction, then it will stay with you forever.

Work off the points. In states that count DUI as a point against your record (and not an automatic suspension of your driving privileges), you can take DMV-approved driving improvement courses to immediately dismiss some points.

Hire a criminal defense attorney to help get your DUI expunged or sealed. A successful expungement occurs when the judge removes your guilty plea for the DUI charges and dismisses your case. When your records are expunged or sealed, you can claim that you have no prior convictions (absent non-DUI convictions) when filling a job application. However, law enforcement and government agencies, like the FBI, would still be able to see the criminal conviction.

Just don't do it — it's not worth it. A DUI will cost you $10,000, on average, according to the NHTSA. With this price tag, it's much smarter to order a taxi or rideshare service. Also, use our DUI calculator to learn how your alcohol consumption and body metrics compare to the legal levels in your state.

How DUIs Affect Your Car Insurance Rates

A criminal conviction for driving under the influence will almost always increase your auto insurance premiums. Similar to a driver with an extensive claims history of multiple accidents, a DUI conviction alerts car insurance companies that you're a high-risk driver. To compensate for the increased risk, you will need to pay higher premiums — a 67% increase, on average, according to Forbes.

Average Car Insurance Premium in the U.S.

67% Increase After DUI

$1,450.92 per year

$2,423.036 per year

After a DUI conviction, the court may order you to file SR-22 — a financial responsibility certificate that tells the state that you meet the minimum car insurance requirements. Your car insurance company may offer to file this form for you. If the SR-22 is not maintained, your driver's license can be suspended. SR-22 is only a form and not an insurance policy.

A DUI can result in a 67% increase in car insurance premiums.

Minimum coverage requirements may also increase depending on your state. The state of Virginia, for example, requires drivers with DUI convictions to obtain FR-44 insurance coverage, which carries twice the minimum liability coverage for regular drivers — twice the coverage=high cost. Illinois requires DUI offenders to carry high-risk auto insurance for three years, costing an additional $2,000 annually.

DUI Car Insurance FAQs

Will my car insurance go up after a DUI?

Almost always, yes. A DUI conviction is a red flag to your insurance company that you are a high-risk driver. Premiums are often increased to offset this higher risk.

How can I find cheap car insurance after a DUI?

Tips to secure cheap car insurance after a DUI include comparing quotes from multiple car insurance companies, qualifying for car insurance discounts and raising your deductible. Some states also offer state-subsidized car insurance programs for low-income drivers. Keep in mind that rates for a driver with a DUI will typically experience higher rates than without. 

Do I need to get an SR-22 after a DUI?

Some states may require you to file form SR-22 after a DUI offense, but not all. Be sure to check with your local DMV to confirm your requirements. In some cases, your insurance carrier may file  form SR-22 on your behalf.

Does a DUI ever disappear?

A DUI can stay on your driving record for five to ten years or may stick with you for life depending on your state. Expunging a DUI conviction from your criminal history will allow you to state that you have not been convicted when applying to potential employers.

Does DUI show up on background checks?

Depending on how recent your DUI was and whether the criminal offense was expunged, a DUI conviction may show up on your background check. Depending on the employer and the job description, your criminal history may or may not automatically disqualify you from consideration for the job.

What's the difference between DWI, DUI and OWI?

Driving while impaired (DWI), driving under the influence (DUI) and operating while intoxicated (OWI) are often used interchangeably. However, the terms may be distinguishable in select states. In Arkansas, for example, DUIs relate to underage drinking and driving, while a DWI is standard drunk driving.

Find Affordable Car Insurance, Even With a DUI

While a DUI will likely increase your auto insurance rates, it doesn't mean you're completely priced out of car insurance. However, you may need to do a little more work by comparing quotes from multiple insurance providers to get the best price out there. Fortunately, SmartFinancial can streamline the research process with our side-by-side comparison tables. With just a few button clicks, you can compare rates and coverages from our 200+ insurance partners. Just enter your zip code below to get your free quotes.

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