How DUI Convictions Travel from State to State

Man hand drinking beer and holding car keys

So maybe you’re driving through another state for your holiday vacation and make a couple of choices you maybe shouldn’t have. As a result of those choices, you find yourself pulled over and arrested for driving under the influence. No big deal, right? After all, once you handle your business in that state, you are going home to live your life.

Not so fast.

People who get caught driving impaired in one state may not get off as easy as they think. The truth of the matter is that you may be dealing with not only the consequences in the state in which you were arrested, but in the state you live in as well. The reason for this sort of “double” punishment is what is known as consortium.

What Information Is Shared?

Most of the 50 states are part of a DUI information consortium. The good news is that while these states share information, the only information shared is of convictions, not arrests. This means that if you are arrested in one state but found not guilty of the DUI charge, your home state may never know. If, on the other hand, you are found guilty, you need to be prepared for what may be heading your way.

Here’s another issue that you may face. While your state may not punish you for the DUI you picked up while you were traveling, they could very well count that conviction as a prior one should you be arrested for DUI at home. Multiple convictions for driving under the influence impact the way a person is sentenced for the crime.

How States Handle These Convictions

Lastly, you need to be aware of how your particular state handles out-of-state convictions for driving under the influence. For example, if you live in California, the state will look at your out-of-state conviction to determine if the circumstances were similar to what would have gotten you convicted at home. If they were, the conviction will be treated like a state DUI. If not, the conviction will be ignored.

Let’s look at an example: You are traveling through Ohio on your way home to Pennsylvania. You are charged and ultimately convicted of DUI. Ohio cannot take away your driver’s license because they didn’t issue it. Pennsylvania can if you already had some type of run-in with the local court. If your DUI conviction in another state breaks some suspended sentence you had at home, you could see that sentence reimposed.

If you are convicted of DUI in another state, you need an attorney at home. Reach out to Steven E. Kellis today. Attorney Kellis will review the details of your conviction and advise you how that conviction could affect you in Pennsylvania. You have legal rights you may not be aware of, and you need to be prepared for how your out-of-state conviction could impact your life. Call today to schedule a case evaluation and learn more about how we can assist you.