What drivers should know about the Interstate Driver’s License Compact

by | Dec 20, 2021 | Criminal Defense

Being arrested for drunk driving results in serious criminal charges and countless consequences if a conviction occurs. However, the impact it will have on your life is not exclusive to the borders of your home state.

The Interstate Driver’s License Compact is a multi-state contract. Drivers with a suspended license due to a DUI conviction that occurred while traveling in another state could see that penalty applied in the state they call home. Governed by individual states’ DUI laws, it could have an impact on your driver’s license.

Consequences in one state could lead to consequences in another

The compact is not mandatory nationwide, meaning that not all states are participants. Those residing in states not part of the compact will see no impact on their license if another DUI conviction in any other state occurs.

There will still be consequences, but not in the state they call home. States also have conditions that must be met that include:

  • Substantially similar – not identical – DUI laws
  • Sufficient descriptions of convictions that would invoke the compact and notify the home state
  • Comparable enforcement provisions between the states, precisely substance, interpretation, and enforcement

License suspension also depends on the home state and where the conviction occurred. Simply put, a home state with a six-month suspension and a “compact” state requires a longer suspension, then the latter penalty will be in place.

When it comes to appeals, the home state will govern those actions as the compact only has jurisdiction over enforcement. Cases usually see a two-pronged approach. The individual convicted must prove that the compact does not apply due to the out-of-state conviction bearing no resemblance to offenses in their home state.

Regardless of where you are in the US, a DUI arrest does not automatically mean that a conviction is inevitable. A skilled criminal defense attorney can help get to the facts in pursuit of the best possible outcome.