While holders of California driver's licenses have their licenses taken away at the time of a driving under the influence (DUI) arrest, out-of-state drivers arrested on a DUI charge may keep their licenses—at least at first. This does not mean they are free and clear of the DUI charge. In fact, the DUI process for out-of-state drivers is essentially the same as the one for California drivers. Both a Department of Motor Vehicles case and a court case are triggered for either type of driver. Offenders with an out-of-state license face the possibility that the California DMV may take action to suspend or revoke their driving privileges within the state of California. An experienced Santa Clara DUI lawyer can help drivers to keep their driving privileges both in California and in their home states.
Interstate Driver's License Compact
While some out-of-state drivers may not be concerned about a California DUI charge or losing driving privileges in California, they should be. The same court penalties are imposed whether the driver holds a California license or an out-of-state license. Out-of-state drivers may have to travel back and forth between California and their home states for a pre-trial, trial, and other legal proceedings. They may also be incarcerated in a California jail.
In addition, the Interstate Driver's License Compact (IDLC) may cause out-of-state drivers to face additional charges in their home states. The IDLC is an agreement between most states that allows for information sharing with each other in cases involving certain types of traffic violations, including DUI. Only six states are not participating in the IDLC: Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, Tennessee, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. Some IDLC states will reciprocate the actions taken in another state. For example, if the state of California suspends your California driving privileges, your home state will also suspend your driving privileges. Some home states will impose the same enhanced penalties imposed by the California courts and DMV, and may impose their own additional fines as well.
Despite the IDLC agreement, communication between states can be quite poor and your home state may not receive notification of a California DUI conviction. Just don't count on it. The point is that even if you are an out-of-state driver, you have a great deal to lose and you may face tremendous personal and financial consequences for a DUI conviction. In some cases, those consequences will be more severe than they would be for instate drivers. A highly-skilled Santa Clara DUI attorney can tell you whether or not the IDLC will affect your driver's license as well as what you can expect.
At the Santa Clara DUI law firm, we have represented many drivers charged with DUI, both from California and from out-of-state. We can get you the best possible outcome both in California and in your home state. We offer online Santa Clara DUI consultations. Get in touch with us today for yours!