What Can a DUI Lawyer Do for Me
23 Aug
Author: Colin Maher
Date: 2023-08-23
Categories: Traffic

How Long Does A DUI Stay on Your Background Check In Ohio?

For any driver in Ohio who is facing a DUI charge, whether it is your first or second time, you undoubtedly have a number of questions about how the charge will impact your driving record. In Ohio, a DUI (also known as an OVI within Ohio) is treated as a serious offense.

Drivers who are found to be driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol in Columbus Ohio face harsh penalties including:

  • Jail time
  • Heavy fines (in addition to court costs)
  • Driver’s license suspension
  • Mandatory involvement in an alcohol or drug addiction program
  • Immobilization of your vehicle
  • Restricted plates
  • An interlock device placed on your vehicle
  • Probation fees (if you are placed on probation)

The above are just some of the penalties that Ohio drivers may face with a Columbus DUI charge. Now, on to the question of how long a DUI conviction remains on your background check.

Disclaimer: The following is not legal advice. It is general information meant to educate. Please connect with experienced Columbus DUI lawyers for legal advice and representation.

What Does a DUI Entail in Ohio?

First, let’s establish what exactly a DUI is in Ohio. Driving under the influence, or a DUI, is essentially when a driver is operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In Ohio, you may face DUI charges if you have been allegedly found to be driving or operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of .08 or higher for anyone 21 years or older.

For drivers who are too young to buy alcohol, they may face a DUI charge if their BAC is .02 and commercial truck drivers who are working at the time of their charge are also limited to a BAC of .04.

It is also important to note that authorities may pull someone over for operating any kind of vehicle that Ohio state law defines as a vehicle.

As per Section 4511.19, a vehicle under Ohio law can include:

  • Cars
  • Motorcycles
  • Trucks
  • Mopeds
  • Electric scooters
  • Golf carts
  • Motorboats
  • Bicycles

How Long Does A DUI Stay on Your Background Check in Ohio?

The long and short answer to how long a DUI stays on your background check is that it is permanent. A common misconception about DUIs is that they will drop off of your driving record after two or three years.

It can be a little confusing, as Ohio operates a points system. This points system is used by the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles to determine when a driver’s license will be suspended. Different traffic violations carry a certain number of points. When a driver eventually hits 12 points on their driving record within a two year time period, they will face a license suspension.

After two years, from the date of the traffic conviction, the points will drop off your record. Even though the points drop off, a DUI conviction remains on your record forever.  The current law in Ohio does not allow for sealing or expunging traffic offenses like a DUI/OVI.

That is why connecting with a repeat DUI attorney in Columbus, Ohio can be critical. If you do not take steps to address a DUI charge, you may be looking at a permanent addition to your driving record and background check.

In addition to penalties like jail time, heavy fines, and a driver’s license suspension, you may also face issues like increased car insurance cost, not being able to get car insurance, and difficulty finding future employment. Past DUI convictions or guilty pleas will also be considered to escalate the mandatory minimum penalties on future DUIs.

What is a Look Back Period?

A look back period is the length of time in which a prior DUI or OVI conviction will be considered if you are facing a new DUI charge. Any previous conviction or plea that took place within the specific lookback period will be considered for sentencing purposes.

For example, say you had a DUI conviction five years ago and you are now facing a new DUI charge, Ohio’s look back period of ten years would make it a second offense subjecting you to second offense penalties (i.e. 10 days in jail rather than 3 in a driver intervention program).

In 2017, Ohio’s look back period changed when “Annie’s Law” was signed. This law increased the look back period from six years to ten years. It is important to be aware of this look back period as we discuss how long a DUI stays on your background check.

With this look back period in mind, there are still steps you can take if you are facing a new DUI charge. Consider reaching out to a repeat Columbus Ohio DUI attorney who will be able to explain your rights and put together a defense strategy unique to your situation.

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