How long does a DUI stay on your record?

depiction of a DUI

Driving impaired under the influence of drugs or alcohol is illegal in every state, but the severity of the penalty can vary. If you’re caught driving under the influence — most often defined as driving with a blood alcohol limit at or in excess of .08 — you’ll also have a DUI on your driving record, in addition to the legal trouble that follows.

This will cause your insurance rates to increase. Since this is a criminal offense, a DUI can also impact your ability to find a new job. Many state laws allow for imprisonment for a DUI conviction; however, this punishment is typically at the discretion of the court.

Most states use a points system to track traffic violations, and a DUI is considered a serious moving violation. In the states that use a points system, some assess high points for a DUI, while others will suspend a license for a DUI or have other penalties instead of assessing points. Some states include additional requirements, such as the successful completion of a driver safety course.

The length of time a DUI will affect a person’s driving record also varies by state. In most cases, a DUI will impact a driving record for anywhere from five to 10 years.

It’s something of a misnomer to say that a DUI will “come off” of your driving record. What this generally means is that the state sets a certain time period after which a prior DUI conviction isn’t considered in a subsequent case. These are called “look-back” provisions, and are sometimes also called “step-down” provisions.

If a state has a 10 year “look-back” provision, a DUI that happened more than a decade ago isn’t factored into the penalties if a driver commits another offense. Some states have lifetime look-back provisions — a prior DUI is always taken into consideration, no matter how old it is. The bottom line is that a DUI remains part of the driving record, even if it isn’t factored into the punishment for an offense.

State Penalties for Driving Under the Influence (DUI)

State penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs can vary considerably, often based on the circumstances of the case. States even refer to the infraction in differing ways. Some states use the term “driving under the influence” (DUI), some use “driving while intoxicated” (DWI), and some use “operating while intoxicated” (OWI). You can read more about DUI vs. DWI on our blog.

These terms refer to a driving infraction that occurs when the operator of a vehicle is driving with either a blood alcohol concentration that exceeds the state-defined limits (for most, as noted above, that limit is .08), or with any amount of a Schedule I or II controlled substance in their system. To reduce confusion, DUI is used throughout this article.

In the list that follows, the penalties described are for the first offense of individual operators over age 21 who are driving a private, non-commercial vehicle. Almost every state has more stringent laws on the books for drivers who are minors and not therefore legally allowed to consume alcohol, and for those who drive commercial vehicles.

There can also be additional, increased penalties for certain circumstances, such as driving under the influence with a minor in the vehicle. The list below is offered as a guideline and should not be considered a comprehensive detailing of all penalties.

Alabama

In Alabama, a DUI will remain on your driving record for five years, and you’ll be assessed six points that will remain on your record for two years.

Alaska

Alaska will leave a DUI conviction on an individual’s driving record for life. Additionally, you’ll be assessed 10 points on your driving record, with two points subtracted for every two years with no driving violations.

Arizona

Arizona will assign eight points to your driving record, with a point length of three years, and a DUI will remain on a driver’s record for five years.

Arkansas

If you get a DUI in Arkansas, it will stay on the driving record for five years, and you’ll be assessed 14 points. Those points remain for three years.

California

In California, a DUI stays on a person’s driving record for 10 years. You’ll be assessed two points, which will remain for 13 years.

Colorado

Colorado law states that a DUI conviction will remain on a driving record for 10 years, along with an assessment of eight points, which remain for two years.

Connecticut

In Connecticut, drivers with a DUI can expect for it to remain on their record for 10 years, and will accrue three points that will remain on a driver’s record for two years.

Delaware

Your driving record in Delaware will carry a DUI for five years, and you’ll be assessed extra penalties, such as completing a defensive driving class, an alcohol treatment course, or both.

Florida

Florida drivers with a DUI conviction will see it remain on their driving record for 75 years. A first conviction also carries a mandatory 50 hours of community service, and your license may be suspended for a period after the conviction date.

Georgia

In Georgia, a DUI will remain on a driving record for a period of 10 years, and extra penalties apply beyond the Georgia points system. Points remain on the driving record for two years.

Hawaii

Hawaii law states that a DUI will stay on an individual’s driving record for five years. Hawaii does not use a point system to track driving infractions.

Idaho

If you receive a DUI conviction in Idaho, it will remain on your driving record for life. You will also be assessed extra penalties, such as your license being suspended for between 90-180 days.

Illinois

In Illinois, any alcohol or drug offense, including a DUI, will remain on a driver’s record for life. If you are convicted of a DUI, your license to drive will be revoked for a minimum of one year for the first offense.

Indiana

Indiana will retain a DUI offense on a driver’s record for life. Additionally, eight points will be assessed, which remain for two years.

Iowa

A DUI violation in Iowa will stay on a driver’s record for 12 years. Iowa does not use a point system to track traffic violations.

Kansas

In Kansas, a DUI will remain on a driver’s record for the lifetime of the driver. Kansas does not use a point system.

Kentucky

A DUI will remain on a driver’s record for five years in Kentucky; other possible penalties include fines and/or jail time. Kentucky uses a point system, but DUI penalties are not individually listed.

Louisiana

A DUI will remain on your driving record for 10 years in Louisiana; Louisiana does not use a point system to record and track moving violations.

Maine

In Maine, a DUI conviction is a permanent part of your driving record and will remain for a driver’s lifetime. Maine does use a point system. However, instead of accumulating points for a DUI, motorists face an immediate suspension of their driver’s license.

Maryland

A DUI in Maryland will remain on your driving record for five years, and you will be assessed 12 points.

Massachusetts

In Massachusetts, a DUI conviction will remain on your driving record for 10 years. You will also be assessed five points, which will remain on your record for six years.

Michigan

In Michigan, a DUI will remain on your driving record for seven years, and you’ll be assessed six points, which stay on your record for two years.

Minnesota

Minnesota retains DUIs on a person’s driving record for 10 years. Minnesota does not use a points system for driving infractions.

Mississippi

A DUI in Mississippi will remain on a driving record for five years; Mississippi does not use a points system.

Missouri

In Missouri, a DUI will remain on your driving record for 10 years, and you will also be assessed eight points on your driving record. Missouri uses a points reduction formula that decreases points on a driving record over time if there are no new driving infractions.

Montana

Montana will retain a DUI conviction on a person’s driving record for five years, and drivers are assessed 10 points for a DUI, which remain for three years.

Nebraska

A DUI will remain on your driving record in Nebraska for 12 years. You will be assessed six points on your driving record, which will remain for five years.

Nevada

In Nevada, a DUI stays on a driving record for seven years. Drivers convicted will face extra penalties on Nevada’s point system.

New Hampshire

New Hampshire will retain a DUI on a driver’s record for 10 years. Drivers will also have six points added to their record, which remain for three years.

New Jersey

In New Jersey, a DUI will remain on record for 10 years, and the state will assign additional penalties in lieu of points on a driver’s record.

New Mexico

New Mexico will retain a DUI conviction on a driver’s record for 55 years and will assess extra penalties.

New York

A DUI conviction in New York will remain on a person’s driving record for 15 years, with extra penalties assessed instead of accruing points.

North Carolina

In North Carolina, a DUI conviction will remain on a driver’s record for seven years, and the driver’s license will be suspended for one year.

North Dakota

In North Dakota, a DUI remains on an individual’s driving record for seven years, and drivers convicted of DUI are assessed additional penalties in lieu of points.

Ohio

In Ohio, a DUI conviction remains on a driver’s record for life. Drivers will be assessed six points, which remain on a driver’s record for three years.

Oklahoma

Under Oklahoma law, a DUI conviction will remain on a driving record for 10 years, and drivers are assessed additional penalties under the state’s point system.

Oregon

In Oregon, a DUI becomes a permanent part of an individual’s driving record. Oregon does not use a points system for traffic violations.

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania maintains a DUI conviction on a driver’s record for 10 years. Drivers are also subject to extra penalties assessed under the state’s point system.

Rhode Island

Rhode Island will consider a DUI conviction as part of a driving record for five years. Rhode Island does not use a point system to keep track of driving violations.

South Carolina

In South Carolina, a DUI will remain on a driving record for 10 years. Drivers are assessed extra penalties under the state’s point system.

Tennessee

Tennessee retains DUI convictions on a driver’s record for life. Drivers can also expect to receive extra penalties under the state’s point system.

Texas

In Texas, a DUI will remain on a driver’s record for life. A DUI conviction in Texas also carries an annual surcharge payment of $1000 per year, for three years.

Utah

Utah law will retain a DUI conviction on a driving record for a period of 10 years. Drivers are also assessed extra penalties under the state’s point system.

Vermont

In Vermont, drivers will have a DUI conviction remain on their driving record for life. Extra penalties are assessed under the state’s point system.

Virginia

Virginia considers a DUI conviction to be a part of a driver’s record for 11 years, and drivers face additional penalties under the state’s point system in addition to being assessed six points.

Washington

In Washington, a DUI remains on a driver’s record for 15 years. Washington does not use a point system to track driving infractions.

Washington, D.C.

In Washington, D.C., a DUI is part of an individual’s driving record for 10 years. Under D.C.’s points system, drivers with a DUI are assessed 12 points and extra penalties.

West Virginia

West Virginia keeps DUIs on driving records for 10 years, and drivers are assessed additional penalties under the state’s point system.

Wisconsin

Wisconsin maintains a record of a driver’s DUI conviction for 10 years, and drivers are assessed six points for driving under the influence on their driving record. Those points remain for a period of five years.

Wyoming

In Wyoming, drivers can expect a DUI conviction to remain on their record for 10 years. Wyoming does not use a point system.

A DUI conviction will raise your car insurance rates because of the obvious risks of driving while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. In addition to higher car insurance rates for years, many states assess additional penalties, some of which are financial, like Texas.

Don’t put yourself or others in danger. Pick a designated driver; and if you drink, don’t drive.

Finally, states frequently change driving laws, so the list above is provided as a guide — double check with the motor vehicle authority in your state if you need clarification on your state’s penalties for DUI convictions.

If you need SR-22 insurance because of a DUI, see which companies other drivers recommend for the best SR-22 car insurance.


The content on this site is offered only as a public service to the web community and does not constitute solicitation or provision of legal advice. This site should not be used as a substitute for obtaining legal advice from an insurance company or an attorney licensed or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. You should always consult a suitably qualified attorney regarding any specific legal problem or matter. The comments and opinions expressed on this site are of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of the insurance company or any individual attorney.

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