No one wants a driving while impaired(DWI) charge on their record. The legal ramifications are hard hitting and last longer than most people realize. A DWI can increase the difficulty of getting a job, show up at every traffic violation, and even impede travel from country to country. If you have a charge on your record, it is important to know how a DWI will affect your future.
How Long Does a DWI Stay on Your Record?
Typically, a DWI stays on your record for ten years. That means that any actions or applications that a negative BMV record might hinder will stand in your way for a decade. That is as true for an Ohio DWI as elsewhere.
Can I Get a Job with a DWI on my Record?
Some jobs will not hire you if you have a DWI. Ohio and local Hamilton County government agencies, corporations, or other companies can have guidelines that prohibit hiring people with impaired driving histories. Unfortunately, an Ohio DWI will, indeed, take those jobs off the table. Other employers, however, don’t have written codes to govern their behavior. For them, how you proceed matters. While failing to report the DWI might seem in your favor, that’s not always the case. Anyone hiring you can run a background check. If they find out after you try to hide it, it could destroy your chances of getting that job.
Where Is a DWI Reported?
A DUI/DWI is a misdemeanor. That includes a Hamilton County DWI. That local DWI shows up on criminal records pulled across the country, as well as on driving records. Any background check in that includes a criminal history check will reveal the DWI. Forbes suggested talking to prospective employers rather than reporting the incident on paper. For employers or other parties, an informal discussion will reveal details that might sway the person’s opinion. A simple checkmark declaring an undescribed crime is not what you want.
Employers with Company Vehicles
Employment opportunities that include driving are not so forgiving of DWIs. In California, the Department of Motor Vehicles website tells drivers they will automatically sends reports regarding employee driving records to employers who apply for the information. Laws differ from state to state. However, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) governs discrimination during hiring throughout the United States. It dictates how employers use criminal records during hiring but does not prohibit their use. The EEOC mandates that the convictions must interfere with or present a danger to the work environment in order to give lawful cause for not hiring.
Who Can Access My Driving and Criminal Records?
Your criminal record is available to a wider range of people than your driving record. Someone screening you for a job or apartment rental may pull your criminal record but probably not your driving record. The exception, naturally, would be a prospective employer who needs you to drive as part of your job. Law enforcement personnel do have access to your driving record, however. A Hamilton County DWI will show up even to a highway patrol officer several states away. The other party to be aware of is your insurance company. As we described in an earlier Rapier and Bowling blog, a DWI might result in higher rates.
International Travel with an Ohio DWI
If you have an Ohio DWI/DUI on your record, traveling to Canada will no longer be so easy, if possible at all. According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Canadian border patrol agents have the right to turn you away for up to ten years from the conviction. AllCleared.com tells us the same goes for the Mexican border, although they say different agents handle the matter in different ways. And what if Canada or Mexico does let you in? You still must return to the U.S., who has the same law on its books.
Removing a DWI from Your Record
The unfortunate truth for those convicted of a DWI or DUI is that you cannot remove it from your record. A driving while under the influence conviction is a misdemeanor. When property damage, injuries, or death occur as a result, it can even become a felony charge. That misdemeanor or felony stays on your criminal record for ten years and is not removable.
What Can You Do About Your Ohio DWI?
While removing the charge from your records is not possible, thwarting discrimination is. You have some control over how a DWI will affect your future. If you discover a prospective employer, property manager, real estate agent, or other individual or group is using your DWI to discriminate against you unfairly, you can take legal action. Both the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the EEOC have laws that govern how people use reports about your past. Knowing those laws and codes, or hiring someone who does, can help to protect you. A ten-year mark on your record may be a tough challenge to overcome, but being aware of your rights can help to make it more manageable.
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