All DWI records, including arrest records, are open to the public. All you have to do is go to your county and request access, and they will give it to you. Unfortunately, however, there isn’t a central, national database that you can look into. This means that you need to know which county a DWI happened in first.
How to Look up Someone’s DWI Past
The first way to find someone’s records means that you need to find out where the public records office is. Sometimes, they offer their services online, but you usually have to visit the records office in person or at least write to them before they provide you with records. Furthermore, if you don’t go over in person, you won’t know for sure whether records even exist for some time. The best thing to do, therefore, is to go yourself and to go early, as there is usually a queue.
The second option is to use a service that searches private records for you. Some companies have collated archive records and allow the public to view them. You can usually search these records by name, regardless of where the record is. You do generally have to pay something for this, but that fee is minimal, particularly compared to other investigative services. And remember that most counties may allow you to search for free, they will charge you for sending you the records. There are some issues with using this type of service, however. They include:
- That you don’t know whether the information is complete. Your search may come up empty, when the individual you are researching actually has a significant criminal history.
- That you don’t know whether the information is up to date. Perhaps the person you are looking into has been acquitted of some of the charges, or has had more charges against them since the last time the records were updated.
- That you don’t know whether the information is accurate. This is perhaps the biggest issue of all. Because different services get their information from different locations, it may be completely false. It is possible that records are listed that are false, or relating to someone else. Or records may not be listed at all.
These three problems are significant, which is why you must properly research the service you want to work with. They must make it abundantly clear where their information comes from and what kind of guarantees they offer in terms of accuracy in particular. There are good services out there, you just need to find them.
The only other option you have is to hire some sort of private investigative service. The biggest issue with doing this, quite obviously, is that it is incredibly expensive. In fact, you can expect to pay thousands for these services. On the other hand, you will be guaranteed to receive complete, accurate, and up to date information. At the end of the day, only you can decide which option is best for you.