Are DUI Records Public?
If you are convicted of impaired driving, driving over 0.08 or refusing to provide a sample of breath, all commonly known as a DUI, you will receive a criminal record. These records are maintained by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s Canadian Criminal Real Time Identification Services (CCRTIS). This database contains information about a person’s criminal history, including all convictions for which a pardon has not been granted, all charges regardless of disposition, outstanding warrants and charges.
The good news if you have a conviction is that your criminal record is not readily available without your consent. Most often, consent is provided for a criminal background check for employment or volunteer positions. It is nearly impossible for a third-party to gain access to your criminal record without your consent.
Strict privacy laws ensure that personal criminal record information is kept and disclosed in accordance with legislation including the Identification of Criminals Act, the Criminal Records Act, the Privacy Act and the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
Third-Party Access to Your DUI Record
The only legal way in which a third-party can learn details of your criminal history without your consent, requires researching court records at a courthouse. Essentially, a third-party will need to know your date of conviction, attend a courthouse, do a court search, pay a fee and then read through court documents.
The only other way a third-party can learn of your criminal history is if your case was reported in the newspaper. If journalists reported on your matter, a simple Google search will reveal many details of your matter including whether or not a conviction was entered and your sentence. Fortunately, unless your DUI resulted in death or serious harm to other people, most DUI offences don’t make the newspaper.
Security of Your DUI Record
You may be concerned about a third-party hacking into the RCMP’s database and accessing your criminal record. While history has proven that nearly no online security measure is impenetrable, the RCMP database is highly secure and only RCMP certified devices can be used to interact with the system that supports the National Repository of Criminal Records. Access to criminal records is controlled by significant security measures. To date, there have been no reports of data theft of criminal records.
Access to your DUI Record
You can always get access to your own criminal record if required. There are two types of criminal record checks: standard and vulnerable sector. A vulnerable sector check is usually required if you are going to be working with children or other vulnerable people. The vulnerable sector is defined under the Criminal Records Act as a person under the age of 18 and
Persons who, because of their age, a disability or other circumstances, whether temporary or permanent, (a) are in a position of dependence on others; or (b) are otherwise at a greater risk than the general population of being harmed by persons in a position of authority or trust relative to them.
A standard criminal record check is the most common background check and used primarily for employment screening. There are four levels of standard criminal record checks:
- Level 1: Records of criminal convictions for which a pardon has not been granted (this is what you will request for an employment background check)
- Level 2: Level 1 plus outstanding charges
- Level 3: Level 2 plus records of discharges which have not been removed
- Level 4: Level 3 plus check on local police databases, court and law enforcement agency databases. The vulnerable sector check includes a level 4 check plus any sexual offences and convictions for which a record suspension (pardon) has been granted
Avoid a DUI Criminal Record
A criminal record can have lifelong impacts on your employment, immigration status and ability to travel. The best way to avoid having to worry about a third-party finding out if you have a DUI record, is to avoid a conviction by hiring an experienced DUI lawyer to defend you.