DUI charges exist in every state for people who drive under the influence, whether in-state or out-of-state residents. The legal limit is the same everywhere thanks to Congressional highway funds that require a 0.08 blood alcohol limit. But states charge DUI offenses in different ways.
Not only are the charges different the sanctions also change based on where you are. Out-of-state residents are also often subject to different punishments than their in-state counterparts.
That doesn't necessarily mean it's better to get pulled over for a DUI out-of-state where the sentences are lower. You could find yourself subject to double the punishment if that happens.
Most states have entered into an interstate driver's license compact when it comes to convictions for traffic violations committed by out-of-state drivers. That means even if you're pulled over away from home, your state police will find out about it.
If you're pulled over for a DUI when you're out-of-state that information will be sent back to your local police. They may then decide to also punish you under your own state's laws.
Some states have reciprocity agreements that require your home state to institute certain punishments for DUI offenses. But the state always has the option to punish you for the out-of-state DUI.
The state where the crime occurred will likely also punish you under its traffic laws. They can't take away your out-of-state license but they can impose fines, jail time, and other punishments.
They can also revoke your right to drive in the state where the crime occurred.
If your license was revoked by an out-of-state police authority talk to a lawyer to get it back. While the state that issued the license can take it away, other states can only suspend your driving privileges, not the actual license.
Getting a DUI is never good for your driving record but it can be especially problematic if it happens when you're driving out-of-state. If you're going to be drinking, keep it to a minimum or find a designated driver so we can all stay safe on the road.
- DUI Law (FindLaw)
- Out-of-State Driver Arrested in Arizona For DUI (The Phoenix DUI Law Blog)
- Wis. Juveniles Better Off Getting DUIs at Home Than Out of State (FindLaw's Decided)