How Long Does a DWI Stay on Your Driving Record?
In almost every state in the United States, laws governing the crime of driving while intoxicated are often very severe on the offender. Especially when it comes to the penalties and punishment dished out to the offender. In Louisiana, this same take on DWI laws are of the same intensity, if not more. Most people in this regard will definitely say Louisiana’s intensity is way more than most states. However, it is quite understandable, as the state and its parishes merely seek to cut out the risks driving while intoxicated can cause, to the average citizen and the society in general. For this purpose, Louisiana’s DWI laws are notably stricter and this strict nature doesn’t quite stop upon conviction, rather, it follows you for long years after. To this, driving while intoxicated offences often stay in your criminal and driving records for quite some time. This brings us to the vital topic of this article, which is how long a DWI can stay on your driving record and the effect it will have on your driving record.
Apart from the vast amount of legal trouble that comes with a DWI, another effect it has on you is the blemish it will cause on your driving record. In Louisiana, a DWI can cause excessive damages to your driving record and ensure several difficulties for you in the long haul. This is why it is always proper to get a DUI Attorney to help you with your case and maybe get the charges dropped or reduced. However, most people do not take this advice and unfortunately, they do not take the blemish on their driving record seriously enough. To this, before establishing how long a DWI can stay on your driving record, we will discuss why your driving record is important in the first place.
Why Your Driving Record Matters in Louisiana
As earlier stated, a DWI can have tremendous effects on your driving record, which is in no way good for you. This is because unlike the public opinion on ones driving record, your driving record is actually a very important document. Here’s why:
- The first thing to note is how your driving record can affect your insurance, car insurance or otherwise. When it comes to insurance policies, your driving record is a huge factor that is taken into consideration by insurance companies. One’s driving record is one of the first things insurance companies look at in order to evaluate your risk level. When it comes to the risk level, drivers who are deemed to have a high-risk level, pay a lot more for car insurance. Hence, if your driving record has blemishes like tickets or accidents or a DWI on it, your insurance rates are sure to increase. Also, when it comes to calculating a premium by insurers, a driving record will definitely be utilized. When insurers are calculating a premium, they usually regard the last three to five years of your driving record as a vital factor. As such, if over that period you manage to add multiple stains like accidents and a DWI on your record, your insurer can go as far as cancelling your coverage.
- The next aspect to consider is how your driving record may affect your employment opportunities. However, this largely depends on if your job involves driving, as requirements for a commercial driver’s license in Louisiana includes a clean driving record. Hence, if there are blemishes on your driving record, it will impact on any employment opportunity that involves driving. On the hand, if your job doesn’t involve driving, your possible employer may not necessarily check your driving record. Also, you should note that your driving record is a private document, so without your consent, your prospective employer as well as your insurance company can’t so much as look at it.
- The next aspect to consider is fulfilling Louisiana SR-22 requirements. In the state of Louisiana and its parishes, a DWI leads to an automatic suspension of your driver’s license and if your license is suspended, you will need to file an SR-22. An SR-22 translates simply to a certificate of financial responsibility. When you’re trying to reinstate your license in Louisiana, you need to show proof that you have the minimum liability insurance and for this, you need an SR-22. An SR-22 basically shows that you have the minimum amount of insurance and we already know how your driving record can affect your insurance. Apart from this, an SR-22 is very costly, with all the fees that it holds.
Having understood the importance attached to your driving record, you would also by now understand why a blemish such as a DWI can cost you. To this, in the state of Louisiana, it takes a minimum of ten years before a DWI can get off your record. So, if you are convicted of a DWI charge, you’ll have to go through ten years before any and all records of the DWI is wiped from your life. We all want a clean record and the benefits that come with it but as a DWI is a serious offence that has so many ramifications, it’s natural to want to prevent against it and dissuade the general public from all forms of it. One of such methods to do this, which has been employed by the state of Louisiana is to ensure your records aren’t clean for a long while.
Conclusively, when you find yourself in a DWI situation, get DWI attorney. You stand more of a chance with a DWI attorney than alone. This is because DWI laws are quite complex and only DWI attorneys can provide the proper legal help you need. Also, they are more likely to get your DWI charge reduced, which will definitely be a win for you. Unfortunately, though a DWI attorney can remove or seal a DWI from your criminal record, it doesn’t translate the DWI leaving your driving record, so most times you are sure to likely wait out the years.