I got a DWI recently during a checkpoint. Will this stay on my record forever, and what are the implications for my job prospects in the future?
Jim: DWI checkpoint cases are potentially more complicated than “regular” DWIs (like when the cop stops you for driving poorly, running a red light, speeding etc). This is because the check point itself is “part of the case” that the state has to prove, and often, along with it, there are quit a few issues that the state can be challenged on to show -potentially- that the checkpoint was illegal. If the checkpoint is shown in court to be illegal, then the DWI that comes as a result of that checkpoint stop usually must be dismissed. Some of the things that are potential challenges for the state are: 1) can they produce the “author” of the checkpoint plan? 2) was the checkpoint carried out in accordance with the written checkpoint plan? 3) Was the written plan reasonable in its scope? 4) did law enforcement attempt to use a “simpler” plan (say to check for drivers licenses or seatbelt use) when IN FACT they were targeting DWIs (to try and get around the stiff requirements for DWI checkpoints)? So that’s the deal with the checkpoint DWIs. As for your questions about future implications of a DWI conviction for job prospects or how long a DWI conviction will stay on your record, those are a different matter and do not have anything to do with whether the DWI is because of a DWI checkpoint or some other reason the cop stopped you. A DWI conviction is a conviction. Period. As for job prospects, a DWI conviction, like any other criminal conviction, may certainly be used by a prospective employer in evaluating whether or not to hire you. This is why job applicants frequently have to produce criminal background checks. As for “how long” the DWI conviction will stay on your record, the brief answer is “forever”. While the effect of a DWI for car insurance purposes usually ends three or so years after the conviction (check with your agent there) the effect of a prior DWI conviction within seven years of a subsequent (or additional) DWI can have serious consequences to “enhance” your punishment on the second. It may mean automatic jail time, higher fines, longer probation and so on. Up until recently a new law passed in NC allowed certain DWI convictions to be expunged from criminal records if there were no new offenses. That, however, has come and gone. Hope this helps!