How long does a DUI stay on your record?

The answer to "How long does a DUI stay on your record"? depends on the state, but it’s usually between five and ten years. Some states keep a DUI on your driving record for life. Companies consider your driving record to set your rates, and drivers with a DUI can see their rates double or even triple.

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Written by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer Jeffrey Johnson

UPDATED: Jan 12, 2022

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  • Every state has different laws, but DUIs usually remain on your record for five to ten years
  • A DUI can double or triple the cost of your insurance, and you might be dropped altogether as a customer
  • You’ll face serious legal consequences for a DUI, but an attorney might help ease your troubles

For most drivers, getting a DUI or a DWI is a horrendous situation. Even though people generally fear the repercussions of a DUI, arrests for impaired driving are incredibly high.

Once you receive a DUI, it remains on your record for a long time. Most states retain it for five to ten years, though some states like Alaska and Texas keep it on record forever.

While many legal issues arise with a DUI (particularly if you hurt someone), one of the most inconvenient is that you’ll pay more for your auto insurance. You might also have to fill out an SR-22, which can affect your employment.

The best option for everyone is to avoid a DUI altogether, but we all make mistakes.

If you’re wondering how long a DUI stays on your record, you should know that some insurance companies are more lenient than others. If you need to discover what insurance quotes might look like for you, enter your ZIP code into our free tool.

How long is a DUI on your record by state?

Most states keep a DUI on your record for five to ten years. There is a lot of variance between states on DUI laws, though, so you’ll need to check with your state’s MVD for more details.

In most states, a point system monitors your driving infractions. You receive points for traffic violations like speeding, running stop signs, and even aggressive driving.

If you accumulate too many points, you can lose your license. DUIs usually have the highest point count for violations. Of course, the number of DUIs you have will also affect your points. For example, your first DUI might not be worth as many points as additional DUIs.

While getting a DUI is a complicated process, you can review the table below to get an idea of how many points you’ll accumulate on your license.

StateDUI on driving record lengthPoints or penalties for DUIHow long it takes points to fall off
Alabama5 years6 points2 years
AlaskaLife10 points2 points every 2 years
Arizona5 years8 points3 years
Arkansas5 years14 points3 years
California10 years2 points13 years
Colorado10 years8 points2 years
Connecticut10 years3 points2 years
Delaware5 yearsPenaltiesN/A
Florida75 yearsPenalties3 years
Georgia10 yearsPenalties2 years
Hawaii5 yearsN/AN/A
IdahoLifePenalties3 years
IndianaLife8 points2 years
Iowa12 yearsN/AN/A
Kentucky5 yearsPenalties2 years
Louisiana10 yearsN/AN/A
MaineLifePenalties1 year
Maryland5 years12 points3 years
Massachusetts10 years5 points6 years
Michigan7 years6 points2 years
Minnesota10 yearsN/AN/A
Mississippi5 yearsN/AN/A
Missouri10 years8 points1.5 years
Montana5 years10 points3 years
Nebraska12 years6 points2 years
Nevada7 yearsPenalties1 year
New Hampshire10 years6 points3 years
New Jersey10 yearsPenaltiesN/A
New Mexico55 yearsPenalties1 year
New York15 yearsPenalties1.5 years
North Carolina7 yearsPenalties3 years
North Dakota7 yearsPenalties3 years
OhioLife6 points3 years
Oklahoma10 yearsPenalties3 years
Pennsylvania10 yearsPenalties3 points per year
Rhode Island5 yearsN/AN/A
South Carolina10 yearsPenalties2 years
South Dakota10 years10 pointsVaries
TennesseeLifePenalties2 years
TexasLife2 points3 years
Utah10 yearsPenalties2 years
VermontLifePenalties2 years
Virginia11 yearsPenalties2 years
Washington15 yearsN/AN/A
West Virginia10 yearsPenalties2 years
Wisconsin10 years6 points5 years
Wyoming10 years N/AN/A
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States that don’t use a point system have other penalties for DUIs, such as license suspension, fines, jail time, or community service.

As you can see, points do eventually vanish. That means you’ll ultimately be able to retrieve your license if it’s been suspended. However, your criminal record is different. A DUI arrest on that won’t disappear.

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Why does getting a DUI matter?

There are several reasons why you should avoid a DUI:

  • You might hurt yourself or someone else. In many states, DUIs are the leading cause of road fatalities.
  • You can spend time in jail and will likely have to perform community service.
  • You might lose your license.
  • Insurance will increase.
  • If you drive for a living, you’ll lose your job. Some employers will fire you even if you don’t drive on the job.
  • You might be excluded from other employment opportunities since employers will consider a DUI a sign of irresponsibility.
  • Getting a DUI can be embarrassing.

It’s never a good idea to get behind the wheel of your car if you’ve been drinking. The best course of action is to call a cab or get an Uber. Even if you’ve only had a few drinks, you can’t get a DUI if you aren’t driving.

How long does a DUI stay on your record for insurance?

Typically, insurance companies consider the last three to five years when they set your rates. Some companies will look as far back as ten years, though.

A DUI will increase your insurance rates on average by 80%, but the cost could double or even triple.

You could have your coverage dropped after a DUI if you already have insurance. Companies aren’t required to continue insuring you, even if you’ve been a customer for years. As soon as you’re considered too high a liability, you’ll lose your policy.

You need insurance to drive, though, so you’ll be stuck paying high prices for policies with less coverage. Even if your insurance company doesn’t release you, you should shop around for quotes.

Getting a DUI is a severe infraction that will have significant consequences on your insurance, but comparing quotes might save you money.

How do you get a DUI off your record?

When you find yourself wondering how long a DUI remains on your driving record, you might simply have to wait it out.

If you receive a DUI charge, you’ll need to seek legal assistance. The laws surrounding DUI cases are complex, and you won’t have much chance of escaping punishment without an attorney.

However, even if you beat a DUI criminal charge, it will probably still show up on your driving record. There’s not much that you can do to remove a DUI from your driving record in most states. You simply have to wait.

You should still contact a lawyer if you have a DUI charge. A DUI has far-reaching effects on your life, but legal help can make the damage slightly less impactful.

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Find the Best Insurance After a DUI

Getting a DUI can be humiliating and stressful. You’ll have legal concerns, potential issues at work, and much worse concerns if someone is hurt. The last thing you want to worry about is your insurance.

If you’re trying to determine how long a DUI stays on your record, you should compare insurance prices. Enter your ZIP code into our free tool if you want to know what quotes might look like for you.

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