Economy

These Are the States Where a DUI Will Stay on Your Record Forever

The COVID-19 pandemic has altered our lives in profound ways, from the way children are learning to how people are shopping. One such change has been a rise in alcohol sales in the United States.

According to market data provider Nielson, sales of alcoholic beverages surged 24% in the first six months of the U.S. national health emergency declared in February 2020. Americans show no signs they are ready to give up that coping mechanism in 2021, according to industry news provider Beverage Daily.

Meanwhile, Americans have recently returned to pre-pandemic driving habits, suggesting that drinking and driving charges may soon rebound as well, after a sharp decline last year, especially after more Americans are vaccinated for the virus.

Of course, driving under the influence can have serious safety and legal consequences, and it can send your car insurance premiums through the proverbial sunroof. In 2019, the FBI reported that more than a million Americans were arrested for drunk driving. While that number probably dropped in 2020 (the FBI data isn’t out yet), it likely will rebound this year as people return to the roads.

The penalties for driving under the influence vary by state. According to Insurify, an insurance comparison-shopping website, the charges for driving under the influence can involve a first-offense noncriminal misdemeanor charge, but the punishment increases considerably for repeat offenders. Anything beyond a misdemeanor for driving under the influence becomes a spot on your criminal record that can cause offenders to lose child-custody and gun-ownership rights. Legal immigrants can lose the right to become naturalized citizens.

In some cases, a DUI charge can follow you for years, if not the rest of your life, unless you successfully apply to have your record expunged or sealed. This process varies by state, and offenders with expunged or sealed records can still suffer more severe penalties if they are caught again driving under the influence.

In Alaska, a DUI stays on a criminal record forever and is not expungeable, but convictions can be “set aside.”

In Idaho, a DUI stays on criminal record forever and is not expungeable, but offenders can ask for a “withheld judgment” for a first offense.

In Illinois, a DUI stays on criminal record forever and is not expungeable, but pardons are available.

In Indiana, a DUI stays on criminal record forever but is expungeable five years after a misdemeanor conviction or eight years after a felony conviction.

In Kansas, a DUI stays on criminal record forever but is expungeable five years after completing probation for a first offense or 10 years after a second.

In Maine, a DUI stays on criminal record forever and is not expungeable, but pardons are available.

In Ohio, a DUI stays on criminal record forever and is not expungeable.

In Oregon, a DUI stays on criminal record forever and is not expungeable.

In Tennessee, a DUI stays on criminal record forever and is not expungeable.

In Texas, a DUI stays on criminal record forever and is not expungeable.

In Vermont, a DUI stays on criminal record forever and is not expungeable.

Click here to see how long a DUI can stay on tour record in each state.