How is a DUI Treated Across State Lines?
The consequences of getting convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) can easily follow you across state lines. Alabama is a member of the Interstate Driver’s License Compact (IDCL), which requires it to enforce punishments, like driver’s license suspension even if a resident is convicted of DUI in another state. The same rule applies if another state’s resident gets convicted of DUI in Alabama.
Robust legal representation from a competent Alabama DUI attorney is essential if you have been accused of a DUI-related offense.
The Interstate Driver’s License Compact
The Interstate Driver’s License Compact is an agreement in which member states are obliged to share information regarding DUI and other traffic offenses amongst each other for the purpose of enforcing punishments even when a driver moves to another state.
There are two fundamental obligations dictated by the IDLC:
- To share information regarding the driving records of licensed drivers with member states. This includes license suspensions, traffic violations, and other convictions.
- To treat traffic offense convictions made in other states in the same manner as if it was in their own state
Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, and Wisconsin are the only states that have refused to be a party to the IDLC. In 2007, Nevada withdrew from the compact, however, it still follows the majority of terms listed under the IDLC.
Impact of the IDLC on Your Driving Privileges
The home state is required to be notified of any traffic tickets you get in another member state as per the Non-Resident Violator Compact (NRVC). The home state is then required to suspend the driver’s license for DUI and other moving violations. Any failure to pay a fine or penalty gets pursued interstate as well. Alabama is a member of both IDLC and NRVC.
For instance, if you are a resident of Alabama, but receive a DUI conviction in Colorado, the state of Alabama will be informed of your conviction. In fact, your cumulative DUIs across multiple states may be considered in determining the DUI sentencing. You may face stricter consequences if you already have a drunk driving record in another state.
The National Driver Register (NDR) overseen by the U.S. Department of Transportation is an electronic database containing information on license revocations and suspensions. It includes DUI convictions as well. States only need to input your name to find out whether you have any convictions for serious traffic offenses or have violated your driving privileges.
Your license will remain suspended for 90 days if you are from another state and convicted of DUI in Alabama. The punishment imposed is usually as per the state in which the violation occurred.
For instance, if you are a resident of Alabama, but were convicted for DUI in Tennessee, you will face a compulsory one-year ignition interlock. This is even if it was your first violation.
Ignition interlock means additional restrictions on the driver’s license and the cost of the device. There is no denying the fact that you won’t be able to outrun a DUI or DWI conviction by jumping borders. In fact, you will be shocked to find convictions in neighboring states show up on your record when shopping for car insurance.
This is why you should consider speaking to a qualified and knowledgeable DUI attorney as soon as you get pulled over for drunken driving. There are several strategies an attorney can employ that may protect you from getting a conviction. In case avoiding a conviction is not feasible, experienced DUI lawyers have the necessary resources to help minimize the punishment.
Possible Defenses in Out-of-State DUI Charges in Alabama
It’s possible that the state where you are arrested on a DUI charge has a harsher penalty. You may end up paying a steep fine and spending time in jail if convicted. Besides this, your driver’s license may get suspended in Alabama (your home state) as well. Your attorney will employ different strategies for defending you against the charges.
They may argue that the police officer did not have probable cause or any other justifiable reason to pull you over. The charges may get dismissed by the court in this scenario.
This is because the officer that arrested you did not follow proper procedures. In a similar fashion, the attorney may question the validity of field sobriety tests and the accuracy of the BAC test.
The attorney may even argue that you were not operating the vehicle, but using it as a shelter. This defense is usually used in Arizona where a person can be found guilty of DUI charges only if they were in physical control of the automobile at the time of the arrest.
Discuss a Winning Legal Strategy with our Attorneys Today
If you or someone close to you has been arrested on DUI charges, the attorneys at Alsobrook Law Group can employ their decades of combined legal knowledge, experience, and resources to avoid a conviction or reduce the punishment.
Our skilled DUI defense attorneys in your corner can increase the likelihood of securing a more favorable outcome. To schedule your free and confidential consultation, call us at 334-360-9534 or fill out this online contact form.