Criminal Records Search
Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), also known as “Operating Under The Influence” (OUI) or “Driving Under The Influence” (DUI) is the most common conviction found on criminal records in the United States. Official reports show that 1% of all licensed drivers are arrested for DWI, with 1 in 2 people being at some point affected by an injury related to a traffic accident caused by drunk driving.
Knowing more about someone’s DWI history is critical since the recidivism rate forfirst-time offenders is 35%, meaning there is a thirty-five percent chance they’ll be sentenced for another DWI violation at some point. This rate drops significantly only if the offender takes part in court-directed counseling or educational programs.
In 49 of 50 states and the District of Columbia, the Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) limit accepted for drinking and driving is 0.08, with Utah being the strictest state that lowered it to 0.05. However, if a police officer finds a driver who is “noticeably impaired” and has kids in the car, the perpetrator could face a DWI charge even if they’re under the legal BAC limit. As a general rule, for drivers under 21 years old, the limit goes up to 0.02, while for those over 21, it’s illegal to drive with a BAC higher than 0.08.
Statistics show that more than 30% of motorists arrested for DWI are repeat offenders, with 12.5% of intoxicated drivers who caused fatal car accidents having been previously charged with DWI within the past 3 years. If someone is facing subsequent DWI charges, they could expect serious penalties, that vary from one state to another such as:
Repeat drunk drivers could also lose their license for life and spend their remaining days in prison.
Although a DWI record is not a lifelong conviction, it reflects in someone’s criminal records for 10 years. It does not necessarily have to stay this way though. Due to “second chance” legislation, in some states (for instance Texas) DWI crimes can be expunged if the offender wishes to have an untainted record. The expungement process refers to having all the information contained by both arrest records and criminal records destroyed, cleaned, or sealed.
The most common way to have a DWI criminal record sealed is with an Order of Non-Disclosure which is issued after filing a Petition for Non-Disclosure if there’s successful completion of a DWI probation and deferred adjudication. Although the sentence will always be visible to state and federal authorities, law enforcement, and employers in government departments, an order of non-disclosure “hides” the criminal history related to that offense from the general public, while allowing the perpetrator to officially deny its existence.
Before petitioning a court of law for a DWI non-disclosure, some states (Texas, for instance) require the following conditions to be met:
A DWI convict may NOT have their DWI criminal record sealed if:
Very important: For second or third-time offenders, having a first-time DWI criminal record sealed by an Order of Non-Disclosure doesn’t prevent the consequences of a Misdemeanor Repetition when being charged withanother DWI.