The legal driving limit is the same in every state with a requirement of 0.08 blood alcohol limit, and that does not apply only to alcohol. Even though anyone driving under the influence is charged with DUI, each state has different charges and rules. Whether you receive a ticket for “driving under the influence” (DUI), “driving while intoxicated” (DWI), or “operating under the influence” (OUI), it’s a serious penalty in any state under any name. You also don’t have to be driving a car or truck; if you’re intoxicated, you’ll receive a DUI whether you’re riding a golf cart, ATV, or even a bicycle.
What Happens When You Are Charged Out Of State?
Most people know the rules and what happens if they receive a DUI in their state. But many don’t know the charges and rules if they’re in a different state. Not only are the charges different in each state, but the punishments vary as well. There are things you need to know and questions you may have if you get a DWI or a DUI if you’re on vacation or a business trip. If you get pulled over and get a DUI ticket when you’re out-of-state, your local police receive that information, and they can also charge you according to the laws of your own state, and you end up with a double punishment.
Most states have entered an interstate driver’s license compact that is used to exchange traffic violations that are committed out-of-state and forwarded to the home state. Your home state will charge you as if you committed the offense at home, and apply the laws of your home state to the out-of-state charges.
The state where the DUI occurred can punish you under their traffic laws, inflict fine, jail time, revoke your driving privileges, and other punishments, but they cannot take away your out-of-state license. Only the state that issued your driver’s license has the right to take it away.
What Happens If A Police Officer Sees Someone Driving Erratically
A police officer will pull someone over if their driving is erratic or impaired. The officer then conducts a sobriety test, such as a breathalyzer, which measures the blood-alcohol concentration, or BAC, to determine if the driver is under the influence. If the BAC is 0.08 or higher, then the driver may be charged.
There are also other tests that the officer may choose to conduct if they deem it necessary.
Car Insurance Rates May Be Raised As A Result Of A DUI or DWI
If you receive a conviction for drunk driving, your insurance may go up, or they may even drop you. However, if you have a spotless driving record and this is your first offense, you may just get a slight raise in your rate.
You May Lose Your Driver’s License
If you’re charged with a DUI, your driver’s license will most likely be suspended by your home state. The police officer may take your license and give you a temporary one that expires the day of your DMV hearing. At that time, you may get your driver’s license back, or it may be suspended for a determined amount of time depending if you’ve had any prior convictions or your BAC.
However, if you refuse to give a breathalyzer, blood test, or any test, your driver’s license will be suspended automatically, even if you’re not convicted of DUI.
You May Have To Attend A Treatment Program To Get Your Driver’s License Back
You may have to go through an educational or treatment program to get your license back. If you refuse to go or don’t complete the program, you won’t get your license back for some time.
You May Lose Your Car
If you have prior drunk driving convictions, your car may get impounded for a determined period.
There are devices, like Ignition Interlock Devices (IIDs), which won’t allow the driver to start the car if their BAC is too high.
The DUI or DWI Won’t Go Away
Once you’ve been officially convicted of DUI, it remains on your record for at least 5 years, but it varies in each state. Consequently, it may show up on your background check.
Are DUIs A Misdemeanor Or Felony?
If this is your first DUI offense, it will probably be a misdemeanor. However, if you severely injured or killed someone while under the influence, then it’s a felony. If this wasn’t your first conviction, or your license is suspended, then it’s a felony.
There are many things that may occur if you’re pulled over while driving under the influence that could harm your future. So if you’ve been drinking and your mind is impaired do not drive. If you’re intoxicated call a cab, an uber, or a friend because, in the end, it is not worth it even if you think you can ‘get away’ with it out of state.
Evan M. Levow, Esq. is an award-winning New Jersey DWI defense attorney at Levow DWI
Law who has been successfully representing drivers arrested on DWI charges in New Jersey for
decades. In addition to his dedication to representing his clients, Evan is also committed to
giving back by helping educate drivers throughout the country about DUI laws and safe driving practices.