What Are DWI Records?
Driving While Intoxicated or a DWI is a serious criminal charge for a person found to be driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or any other type of controlled substance. Intoxicating substances, such as drugs and alcohol, impair a person's ability to think and act clearly. It also affects decision-making and the ability to operate a motor vehicle safely.
Typically, there are just two ways that a DWI record is filed. One way is known as "per se". This record is filed on the basis that a law enforcement officer observed the driver during a sobriety test that was conducted in the field. Another way is solely on the basis of a blood alcohol content level as detected by a breathalyzer test.
What Is The Law?
Usually, a blood alcohol level of 0.08 or higher is ruled to be intoxicated. However, just as in all other crimes, the prosecutor has to prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that the person in question was in fact operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or some other controlled substance before a DWI record can be filed.
The laws related to DWI violations vary from one state to the next. In fact, some states refer to the charge by a different title such as Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI), Driving Under the Influence (DUI), or Operating While Intoxicated (OWI). All of the different states across the country have their own methods for administering sobriety tests in the field, setting the legal limits for blood alcohol level and all other related circumstances.
The Downfall to Having a DWI Record
Having a DWI record filed against you comes at a great cost. You will have to pay fines undoubtedly. In addition, you may also have to perform a specific amount of community service, spend up to a year in jail, agree to some form of psychological counseling or have your driver's license suspended for a certain length of time. All of information related to your DWI charge will be filed in your DWI record.
In some states, the first offense of a DWI violation is regarded as a misdemeanor and will not be listed in the individual's criminal records. If subsequent charges are made and the individual is convicted repeatedly, the data will be listed in the criminal records. Having a DWI record on file will seriously affect several different aspects of your life, such as relationships with family, friends and partners, employment, probationary rulings and arrangements for child custody.
How Are DWI Records Used?
Driving while under the influence of drugs and alcohol will get you a DWI record that will follow you around everywhere you go for the rest of your life. A DWI violation will be present on your driving history record for up to twenty years after the charge was initially made. These records are public records that anyone can access, including every police officer that ever pulls you over for any routine traffic violations.
Having a DWI record filed against you can cause your insurance premiums to increase because you are now considered to be a high risk policyholder. Employers are also hesitant to hire an employee who has a DWI record, especially if the available position requires the applicant to operate any type of motor vehicle.
Your local Department of Motor Vehicle office is one of the best places to find valuable information that will prove useful in any background or genealogy search. In addition to an individual's driving history, you can also obtain full names, addresses, physical statistics, photograph, date of birth, driver's license number and date of expiration. In a few states, it is also possible to access an individual's social security number as well.
There are several reasons why you may need to research an individual's driving records. Business owners often require a background check including DMV records before hiring a new employee. When you purchase automotive insurance, the insurance company will most likely check your DMV records before writing out your policy. Law enforcement, private investigators and government agencies often use DMV records as case evidence in court trails and hearings, as well as for a number of other reasons. Thanks to the Internet it is now easier than ever to get the information you need, no matter your purpose.
Finding the Information You Need
You can obtain copies of personal driving records from your local state DMV office and often from the state's individual website as well. The Department of Motor vehicles website is customized for each state individually. You can find these websites by searching any one of the major search engines. For a fee, you will be able to access a copy of the individual's driving record for the past thirty-nine months. The fee is charge on a record by record basis.
Another option for searching DMV records is through investigation services. Often a private detective is hired in certain situations by researchers who can afford the fee. If the private detective is appropriately certified, he or she will have unique access files that are not available for viewing to the general public.
The option that most people choose to search DMV records for genealogy projects, background checks and more is online public records. National public service records on anyone are available for a small fee. According to the type of service that you choose you may pay for a membership on a monthly, yearly basis or record by record basis.
An online DMV record search is the best way to go if you are looking for information related to anyone's driving history, including your own. Some records are available to the general public, while others require signed written consent from the individual whom you are exploring.
The best online services for searching DMV records provide all-in-one searching across several different databases all at the same time. Finding the information that you need about a new nanny, employee, business partner, potential spouse or just about anyone else has never been as easy as it is right now. It is as simple as paying your membership and logging on to access thousands of records containing information valuable to your research.
The days of writing countless letters and standing in line at the Department of Motor Vehicles office for hours and hours are long gone. No matter what your reasons are for searching DMV records, you are sure to find what you need quick and easy online.