What Happens If I Get a DUI in Another State?Published: Sep 28, 2018 by Erika Valcarcel
Getting an out of state DUI is generally a more serious matter than getting charged with drunk driving in your home state. Unlike a speeding ticket, which you can handle through the intermediary of an attorney, a DUI charge requires you to appear in person at a criminal trial. This means hiring an attorney licensed to operate in the jurisdiction where the DUI occurred, spending money on travel and lodging, and taking significant time away from your work and family as you go through the court process. If you get convicted, you will receive fines, possible jail time, and a driver’s license suspension.
If you are from out of state and get a DUI in Florida, you will need a Florida DUI attorney. Call Erika Valcarcel, Criminal Defense Lawyer, P.A. today at (941) 363-7900 or use our online contact form to find out how we can help you.
Will Florida Suspend My License After an Out of State DUI?
When you get an out of state DUI, the consequences will probably follow you to your home state of Florida. This is because Florida is a member of two interstate agreements: the Driver License Compact (DLC) and the Non-Resident Violators Compact (NRVC). These agreements set up a system of information sharing regarding traffic infractions and mutual enforcement of penalties.
The DLC forces member states to share information regarding driver infractions and to mutually enforce driver’s license suspensions. If you get a DUI in Alabama, for example, Alabama will tell the Florida authorities about your conviction. If your Alabama DUI sentence includes a driver’s license suspension, then the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) must suspend your license per the DLC. Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, Tennessee, and Wisconsin did not sign the DLC. If you get convicted of a DUI in one of these states, however, they may still send information about your conviction and sentence to the Florida DMV.
As for the NRVC, it compels the Florida DMV to suspend your license if you fail to pay or do not comply with an out of state traffic infraction. So, if you get arrested for DUI in Georgia, but fail to attend your court appearance, two things will happen. Not only will the Georgia authorities issue a warrant for your arrest, they will ask the Florida DMV to suspend your driver’s license. Alaska, California, Montana, Michigan, Oregon, and Wisconsin did not sign onto the NVRC, but even if you get a DUI in those states, it is likely that they will contact the Florida DMV about your situation.
Out of State Administrative License Suspensions
The above mentioned interstate agreements take effect if you get convicted of DUI, or if you fail to comply with the court process following an arrest. But the agreements do not compel action when you get an administrative license suspension. Unlike a driver’s license suspension imposed as a criminal penalty after a DUI trial, an administrative suspension is imposed immediately when you refuse to take a blood alcohol content (BAC) test, or if such a test reveals that you are over the legal limit.
For example, if you get pulled over for DUI in North Carolina and refuse a breath test, the North Carolina law enforcement officer making your arrest does not have the authority to take your Florida license. And, Florida will not suspend your license because of your refusal to take the BAC test. But, if you get convicted on DUI charges in North Carolina, Florida will honor any driver license suspension imposed by the North Carolina criminal court.
Contact a DUI Attorney for an Out of State DUI
If you get arrested for DUI out of state, it is essential that you comply with the authorities and that you hire an experienced DUI lawyer to help you win your case and avoid the penalties of a conviction. If you want to learn more about the effect of an out of state DUI charge on your Florida license, call Erika Valcarcel, Criminal Defense Lawyer, P.A. at (941) 363-7900 or contact us online for a free consultation with Sarasota DUI lawyer Erika Valcarcel.