Aggressive DUI & Criminal Defense Attorneys Fighting on Your Behalf
click for free consultation

What You Need to Know About DUIs and Background Checks

click for free consultation
Posted By McAdams Law | October 10 2022 | DUI

Driving under the influence can not only jeopardize your life and the lives of others but can impact your existence long after you get out of the car. If you are facing a DUI charge in Greeley, CO, our DUI defense attorneys can help you. 

In this blog, we’ll be examining how a DUI can have long-term legal and economic consequences on your life – and how to deal wit the fallout of a DUI on your record. 

The Basics of a DUI

In every state in the U.S., if an individual is found to be driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol by police, they’ll be charged with a criminal offense. If convicted, first-offense DUIs are typically classified as misdemeanors and may confer punishments such as jail time, fines, a suspension or loss of license, and installation of an ignition interlock device. 

Depending on where you live, your charges may be described as follows: 

  • Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
  • Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)
  • Operating a Motor Vehicle Under the Influence (OUI/OMVI)

The distinction between driving charges and operating charges means that an individual doesn’t need to be driving the vehicle to be penalized with these charges – they just need to be in the car. 

How long does a DUI stay on my record? Can a DUI be expunged? 

Most states have DUIs on an individual’s driving record for around three to five years. California is an exception, with a DUI staying on someone’s record for ten years. 

DUIs can be expunged from a record, meaning the conviction can be “destroyed or sealed from state or federal record.” This conviction will be treated like it never happened. The process of trying to get a DUI expunged from your record can be an extensive one and can vary from state to state. 

While it is optimistic to hope a DUI will be expunged, it’s also helpful to understand the consequences of a background check.

How a DUI on a Background Check Can Affect Your Life

While getting a DUI and managing court dates, lawyers, and the suspension of your license can be troublesome, there are long-term consequences of these charges that can adversely affect your life years after the incident.

Insurance Rates

When you are convicted of a DUI, charges may still appear on your driving record, regardless of whether the record was sealed. This is because a license suspension is an administrative record, not a criminal one.

DMV records, however, are typically only used by car insurance providers. At a bare minimum, your car insurance rates will go up, with the national average being a 13% rate increase. A DUI could result in your insurer dropping you as a client, leaving you to find a new car insurance company. 


A DUI will likely appear on a pre-employment background check if you have not gotten it expunged. If you seek a job that involves driving, it’ll likely also show on your driving records. 

If your state or local government has a “Ban the Box” law in place, it may be illegal for employers to discriminate against candidates based on conviction records.


If you’re looking to rent, a background check is a typical part of that process. A DUI conviction, regardless of if it is a felony or a misdemeanor, could strongly impact your housing application.


Request Free Consultation

  • *required fields
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.