D.U.I and Out-of-State Drivers

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Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI) involves civil and criminal proceedings.  In civil proceedings, the department of motor vehicles decides whether the driver’s license will be suspended and for how long.  Suspension will occur if there is a “preponderance of the evidence” (a low level of proof) that the driver was driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 percent or greater.

The Interstate Driver’s License Compact is an agreement between 45 states to share information about DUI arrests in other states.  Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Michigan, and Georgia are not part of this compact.  The arresting state does not take away a foreign license, but simply suspends driving privileges in that state.  Then it is up to the suspect’s home state to take away the license. 

Criminal proceedings then begin in the arresting state.  Attorneys can handle most of the case while the client is back in her home state on bail.  However, the judge will order the client to attend at least the trial in the county where arrested, and possibly even pre-trial hearings.  Then, any jail time will probably have to be served in the arresting state pursuant to court orders and the trial verdict.  Jail time for first time offenses can be up to a year, but a common sentence is 1 – 2 weeks. 

After jail time, and depending on the circumstances of the crime, the judge may allow probation to be transferred to the home state, including any community service and alcohol abuse education that is required.  The person should file an application for transfer of probation. 

If the convicted DUI driver fails to show up in court or any required hearings, the state may permanently revoke driving privileges there.  The state can also extradite the driver back to the state, although for most cases, the cost of extradition would make that unlikely.  The arresting state can also issue a warrant, which will show up on the record in other states.  Eventually, the driver’s home state would find out about the arrest and suspend her license.  In summary, the convicted DUI driver will probably have to make a few plane flights back to the arresting state.

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Last Modified: 07-29-2013 10:16 AM PDT

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