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What happens if i get a DUI out of state?

On Behalf of | Oct 27, 2017 | Criminal Defense, Guest Blog

What happens if I get a DUI out of state?


Explaining how an Out of State DUI Works

Receiving a DUI in your state of residence may result in a fine, a license suspension and punishments assigned according to the severity of your DUI. Many people aren’t clear on how to proceed if they receive a DUI outside of their home state and usually wonder if they can ignore it. The following passage will attempt to give a general overview of what is expected of you after receiving an out of state DUI.

There is a difference between drunk driving offenses

Each state has a name and definition for a drunk-driving offense. Here are three types you may have heard of:

  • DUI: Driving under the influence
  • DWAI: Driving while ability impaired.
  • DWI: Driving While Intoxicated.

So how do these convictions deal with suspension or enhancement out of state? Most states have statutes that give a harsher punishment to a repeat offender than a first time offender. These statutes are put in place to discourage someone from committing the crime twice, if at all.

Out of State DUIs Used for Enhancement

Sometimes an out of state DUI may be enhanced to a more serious level offense, but some requirements need to be met before that can happen. Usually, the offense you are being charged for has to be similar to one you have previously been convicted for. Courts tend to consider:

  1. The main characteristics of each offense.
  2. Similarities in level of intent.
  3. Both states’ definitions of intoxication or impairment.

If the characteristics of the charges are different between the charging state and state of residence, enhancement is possible. Some states have limitations on enhancement of out of state DUIs. Montana laws state that a DUI cannot be enhanced unless no longer than five years have passed since it was given.

When seeking a reduction for an out of state DUI, you must be aware of the charging state’s standards. If you do not prove disqualification of out of state conviction, then you cannot do so later on in your case.

What Impact Can This Charge Have on Driver’s Licenses?

Some states adhere to the Interstate Driver’s License Compact which requires states to share conviction details about driving suspensions and traffic offenses–including DUIs. If one state convicts an out of state driver of a DUI, their resident state will be notified. Now a punishment can be curated by the home state regardless of where it happened.

Many people mistakenly think they can avoid DUI consequences if they occur outside their state of residence. If you are unsure whether your state adheres to the Interstate Driver’s License Compact, or even if you must come back to the charging state for a hearing, you should contact a DUI lawyer such as the DUI lawyer Peoria IL locals trust to help sort out what you can expect after a charge. A DUI attorney can determine what consequences you face and can help you petition for a lesser punishment. Contact one today for a consultation.

Thanks to authors at Smith & Weer P.C. for their insight into Criminal law.