Accused Of Drunk Driving In Another State? | What Are Your First Steps

Being accused of drunk driving while visiting or driving through another state becomes a real hassle. It has implications for driving in your own state too, in most cases.

While the specifics differ from state to state, this Drunk Drivers Rights guide explains the basics of what you can expect if you are accused of drunk driving in a different state.

When you’re arrested in your home state – the state you hold a driver’s license in – the police seize your license and issue you a temporary license to be used until your case is resolved. When you’re arrested in another state, your license will not be seized, but you’ll be given a temporary license for that state that limits your driving privileges there.

Your State will be Notified

Most states share information with one another now, so the department of motor vehicles in your state will be alerted to the facts of your case. All but five states – Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, Tennessee and Wisconsin – are part of the Interstate Driver’s License Compact (IDLC) which is an agreement among the 45 states to share information with one another about driving-related crimes, and DUI or DWI is first on the list.

If your state is part of the IDLC, your state’s DMV may contact you and start the process of seeking to suspend or restrict your driving privileges until the case is resolved. At that point, if you are convicted in another state, your state’s DMV will impose penalties on your driving record and restrict or suspend your license according to their standard guidelines.

You Must Face the Charges

In days gone by, you could ignore the DUI charge in one state if you never planned to drive through there again. The IDLC has changed that for residents of most states. If you don’t show up to defend the DUI, your driving privileges will be suspended in the accusing state immediately. Your state will be contacted, and your license will be suspended there too. Failure to answer the charges means you will automatically lose in court, and you’ll likely face fines on top of having a suspended or restricted license.

Consulting a DUI Lawyer

Any time you’re arrested on DUI/DWI charges, it’s important to consult an experienced DUI attorney. He or she will be able to advise you about your rights and will defend your driving privileges in your case with your state’s DMV.