Out of State Driver DUI in Pennsylvania
Every state has its own laws pertaining to Driving Under the Influence. However, these laws differ between states and the effects upon your license may be complicated if you are an out-of-state driver arrested for suspicion of DUI/DWI. If you are licensed outside of Pennsylvania and have been arrested and ticketed for DUI in the state, it is vital that you retain a local DUI Defense Lawyer to handle your case and advise you how a Pennsylvania DUI will affect your out-of-state license.
The Interstate Driver's License Compact
Forty-six states are members of the Interstate Driver's License Compact (DLC). It is an agreement which is designed to maximize law enforcement efforts among the member states. The intent of the DLC is simply to ensure that a driver's out-of-state offenses are recognized by their home state. Member states agree to uphold a number of provisions including:
- - Reporting of all traffic convictions and license suspensions/revocations of out of state drivers to the home state licensing agency, as well as other appropriate information.
- - The assurance of uniform and predictable treatment of drivers by treating offenses committed in other states as though they have been committed in the home state.
With respect to DUI/DWI convictions, the DLC seeks to ensure that home states will honor the convictions of member states. PennDOT, the Pennsylvania department of motor vehicles equivalent, will report to an out-of-state driver's home DMV upon conviction and it is likely that their home DMV will immediately comply by mailing an official notice of suspension with a date of suspension initiation enclosed. Even non-member states are likely to impose a suspension; they are simply not bound by all the provisions within the DLC.
With this agreement among states to enforce the DUI/DWI convictions of other states, it is essential that out-of-state drivers fight a Pennsylvania DUI if they wish to maintain their driving privileges in their home state.
How the DLC Affects Pennsylvanians
In Pennsylvania, the Commonwealth will honor the conviction of another state's DUI. However, the legal standard of DUI's in Pennsylvania is a factor. A DUI in Pennsylvania is a criminal offense which is not the case with all states within the compact as many treat DUI as only a traffic offense. Therefore, Pennsylvania will not impose a suspension of a Pennsylvania resident's driving privilege for a first DUI offense.
A second or subsequent DUI conviction will result in a loss of driving privileges, though. The state DMV will report the conviction to PennDOT and PennDOT will mail the resident an official notice of suspension and the date it begins. Only upon surrender of the individual's driver's license will credit for the suspension begin.
However, it is likely that there will be an interim period between conviction in the member state and PennDOT receiving notice of the conviction. During this period, a Pennsylvania resident may continue to drive in Pennsylvania until notified by PennDOT of their Pennsylvania license suspension.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer?
Out-of-state residents need to hire a local attorney to defend a Pennsylvania DUI charge. To protect their license in their home state, they must vigorously defend their license in Pennsylvania. Only a Pennsylvania barred attorney can defend a Pennsylvania charge, regardless of where you live.
This content was written on behalf of Greg Prosmushkin.