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How a DUI is Treated Across State Lines

Different states often have differing driving under the influence (DUI) laws. The law in Alabama is not exactly the same as in Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, Mississippi, and the other states in the region.

All that said, penalties (for DUI) usually transfer from state to state. A DUI conviction in Alabama will be reported to our neighboring states, which will honor a license suspension, for example.

How are you supposed to know what is allowed if you are driving in the southeast region?

One thing is consistent – driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI) is a punishable offense. All states have limited alcohol consumption for drivers of private vehicles aged 21 and over to 0.08 percent blood alcohol content (BAC). That is equivalent to about two alcoholic drinks for a man within an hour. Because the legal BAC limit for adult drivers is so low, it is simply not a good idea to drive intoxicated, no matter where you reside.

DUI Information

Of the 50 states, only 5 – Tennessee, Georgia, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, and Michigan have not joined the Interstate Driver’s License Compact (IDLC).

The rest of the states share DUI conviction information. If you are out-of-state and caught drunk driving, your home state will be notified.

The Non-Resident Violator Compact (NRVC) requires your home state to be notified if you are ticketed for any violations in another member state.

The NRVC requires a state to suspend the driver’s license for moving violations. A failure to pay a ticket will also be pursued interstate.

Alabama is a member of both compacts.

If you live in Alabama and receive a DUI conviction in Georgia, for example, the state of Alabama will be notified about your conviction.

Some states will consider your DUI from another state in determining your sentencing. You will face more significant consequences if you have a record in another state.

Additionally, the National Driver Register (NDR) is an electronic database overseen by the U.S. Department of Transportation that contains license suspensions or revocations, including DUI. States input the name of individuals who have violated their driving privileges or have convictions for serious traffic violations.

If you are from another state and convicted for DUI in Alabama, your license will be suspended for 90 days. 

Suppose you are convicted for DUI in Tennessee, and the conviction is reported to Alabama. In that case, you will face a mandatory one-year ignition interlock, even if it is your first offense. That represents additional restrictions on your license and the cost of the interlock.

Rest assured that you will not be able to outrun a DUI or driving while intoxicated (DWI) conviction when it happens in another state. Also, consider that you may be surprised when shopping for auto insurance that a conviction in a neighboring state shows up on your record.

Think you can avoid this by having a friendly conversation with the officer on the scene? That is not advised either. In fact, you should be polite but minimize any discussion with an officer at the scene because it can be used against you.

A consultation with an experienced DUI attorney may minimize the impact of a drunk driving charge on your record and help preserve your finances, whether you’re licensed to drive in Alabama or a neighboring state.

Your Alabama DUI Attorney

If you are facing a DUI charge out-of-state, you will need a knowledgeable, experienced DUI attorney to help explain your legal options.

Laws vary. Some states look back into your record five years, seven, or even ten years. That can be confusing, and without representation, a DUI conviction can have an extreme impact on your life, livelihood, future, and finances.

The law office of Jason Darley in Mobile, Alabama, has helped others in your situation navigate a potentially complicated situation. If you are facing a DUI in the state of Alabama or another state and don’t know where to turn, Jason Darley can help you understand your rights and options during this difficult time. Reach out to him at his Mobile office at 251-732-7058 for a personalized consultation.

Sources:

National Center for Interstate Compacts
https://apps.csg.org/ncic/Compact.aspx?id=56

Car Insurance
https://www.carinsurance.com/which-states-share-traffic-ticket-reciprocity.aspx#:~:text=Current%20members%20of%20the%20NRVC,Arizona

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