Driving under the influence of alcohol can be a very dangerous thing not only for you but also for other motorists. Under no account should you ever sit behind the wheels if know you are not 100% sober. It usually takes less than a second for anyone to be late with the reaction and during that short time someone might become hurt. But the question here is, what about an out-of-state DUI?
DUI is an acronym for driving under influence and driving under the influence is a crime that is characterised by operating a motorbike, a vehicle, or even a boat under the control of any psychoactive substances such as alcohol drugs or even a combination of both. Once a driver’s blood alcohol concentration is around 0.08, then such a driver can be said to be operating under the influence.
If you ever received a DUI have it in mind that punishment can vary and usually ranges from monetary fines, alcohol classes, community service, to restriction of your licence. Getting a DUI anywhere at all is always a difficult situation in a lot of ways. It can affect you legally, financially, as well as at work and with your family. To make things even worse, getting a DUI out-of-state is always more complicated.
So what is the best thing to do if you get a DUI out of your home state?
Below are some of the things you must know so that if ever you find yourself in such a situation you can handle it?
It is true that laws regarding how DUI is handled in different states vary significantly, the punishments vary as well. However, some things are constant at the federal level, and one of those things is that all states operate on the same 0.08 blood alcohol limit and that is because of congressional highway funds. That is only one of the things that are uniform between states when it comes to how a DUI is handled
Will the police in your state of residence find out?
It is funny how some people honestly believe that it is a better thing to have a DUI in another state rather than have it in the state where you reside. They are of the belief that since it occured in a different state, it will in no way affect their driving abilities where they live.
This assumption is not exactly true. Most states are part of something called an interstate drivers license compact and what this means is that if a person commits a violation outside his or her state, the police in the present state of residence will be alerted immediately.
You may not only be punished in the state where the crime was committed. You may also get to be punished in your state of residence depending on the decision of your local police.
Some particular states also have the reciprocity agreement, and that requires that when you have a DUI problem outside your home state your local law enforcement agency is required to also punish you for it. Even though not all states are required to do the above, you must have it at the back of your mind that all states have that ability and the option.
When a person has a previous DUI conviction and ends up getting another one, it is only reasonable that the punishment becomes more severe. That means that the more DUI conviction you have, the worse your punishment gets and in some cases getting an out of state DUI can just become one way to enhance charges.
Take for example you could be given a stronger or more severe penalty if you’re convicted of a DUI in a state where you do not leave even though it is your first time in that state as long as you have previously been convicted in your state of residence.
Handling an out of state DUI case
When you are charged with a DUI out of your state of residence, there is no way you can avoid dealing with it no matter where your home statement be. Logically it might be more challenging to deal with a DUI out of state. However, the first thing you must do is to ensure that you are aware of the charges against you. It is important that you speak with county clerks so that you can find out where the case is filed and also where you will be needed to be for court.
Note that if you get an out of state DUI and you do not show up for court there definitely will be a warrant issued for your arrest and the chances that you will face additional charges like a failure to appeal is very high.
Once you have full knowledge of the specifics of your case, the next thing you want to do is to hire a local attorney in the location where you received the DUI. Do not make the mistake of waiting until it becomes too late, or until when your first appearance in court has been scheduled. Since you are not only facing the charges, you’re also facing the challenge of distance it is best that you get a good attorney as soon as you can.
Even if you have a lawyer in your home state if that lawyer is not licensed in the state where you got arrested there is no way they can represent you.
Nevertheless, do not count the lawyer in your home state out just yet. They may be very useful when it comes to handling the logistics in your home state such as issues with a suspended license. There are several states where your driving licence may be automatically suspended if you deliberately refuse to take a breathalyzer test and as we earlier mentioned the interstate agreements will now make it impossible for you to drive in your home state.
The chances are that your home state might have such a thing as a hardship licence and your home based lawyer is in the right position to help you obtain it.
It is not good to get a DUI regardless of the location you find yourself. But if para venture you get one out of state it would make things more complex for you to handle. The two best things you can do for yourself in such a situation is knowing what you are up against and also being proactive about it. Have you learnt anything from this? do well to share with us in the comment section.