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Interstate Consequences of a DUI

If you are a resident of California and you were arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in another state, your initial thought might have been, “Thank goodness I wasn’t arrested in my home state!” Slow down because there’s a good chance that California WILL soon learn about your DUI.

In the United States, we have what is called the Driver License Compact in which member states share information with each other about the DUI convictions, traffic violations, speeding tickets, and license suspensions of non-residents.

Member states forward any such information from non-residents to the driver’s home state. The theme of the Driver License Compact is “One Driver, One License, One Record.”

For example, if you’re arrested for DUI while driving in Denver, Colorado, your home state, California, would treat the DUI as if it happened in California. California would apply its DUI laws to your Colorado DUI.

According to the National College for DUI Defense (NCDD), currently 45 states are members of the Interstate Compact. Since most states are members, an out-of-state DUI will make it virtually impossible for a California resident to avoid the consequences.

Can I avoid a suspended license?

If you were arrested for DUI in another state, it is possible to avoid a suspended license if you take the proper steps with the local courts and with the California DMV. Please understand that as a California driver, you need to be aware of any actions taken by the DMV in the offense state that could affect your ability to drive in California.

Often, a non-resident will automatically assume that if they’re arrested for DUI in another state their license will remain valid in California, and that is not necessarily the case.

Under the registry, if another state suspends your driver’s license, the state must input your license suspension into the registry’s database. If you apply for a license renewal in California or a new driver’s license in a different state, your request could be denied because of the out-of-state license suspension.

Contact a Local DUI Attorney

If you’re an Orange County resident and were arrested for DUI in another state, we urge you to contact the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. for help. In many cases the consequences of an out-of-state DUI can be minimized or avoided when you get a local DUI attorney involved early in the case.

For the aggressive DUI defense you need, contact our office for a free consultation!