The Impact of an Out-of-State License on a DUI

A DUI is treated as a serious offense regardless of the state issuing the charge, but what happens when you are charged with a DUI in a state different from the one that issued your driver’s license? This question often becomes relevant during summer and holiday breaks when people visit family and friends in different states. Whether you’re in Illinois driving with an out-of-state license or driving in another state with an Illinois license, it’s important to know your rights and understand what could happen if you are charged with a DUI.

What is the Driver License Compact (DLC)?

An important part of understanding the impact of serious traffic offenses committed in other states is knowing about the Driver License Compact (DLC). The DLC is an interstate agreement that was officially formed in 1962, and by the end of that decade, more than 25 states had joined it. At its baseline, the concept of the DLC is to share licensing information with the other states who are part of the agreement so drivers would have one, uniform license record from state to state.

This impacts out-of-state drivers because, under the DLC, serious traffic convictions, including drunk driving, reckless driving, and other similar offenses that take place in one state must be reported to the home licensing state within 15 days of the conviction. The details of the conviction itself and any actions the state took against the offender, such as the suspension of driving privileges in that state, will all be sent to the home licensing state, which can then issue further penalties.

Most states in the country are part of the DLC, with the exception of the following states:

  • Michigan

  • Tennessee

  • Wisconsin

  • Massachusetts

DUI Conviction in Illinois with an Out-of-State License

If you are a driver with an out-of-state license visiting Illinois and are charged with a DUI, you can be convicted here, which can lead to the suspension of your driving privileges in this state. Illinois cannot revoke your license, but since it is part of the DLC, your DUI charge can be reported to the state that issued your driver’s license. The issuing state then has the power to take additional action against you, which can include jail or prison time, driver’s license and registration revocation, fines, and other penalties.

Likewise, if you have an Illinois license and are charged with a DUI in another state that is part of the DLC, that state can suspend your driving privileges there and report any and all traffic charges and convictions back to Illinois where further penalties can be handed down.

Does the Type of DUI Charge Matter?

Since drunk driving is considered a serious offense, the type of DUI conviction by someone with an out-of-state license does not matter and will be reported to the license issuing state. The only difference will be the penalties issued by both the state where the offense is committed and the home licensing state. Whether the person with the out-of-state license is charged with a DUI for the first time, underage DUI or felony DUI, it is best to contact an experienced DUI attorney right away to manage the case. Failure to hire a competent attorney may result in excessive fines and penalties.

Why Hire a Chicago DUI Attorney?

It is important to hire an experienced attorney for DUI matters in general, but when dealing with DUI charges with an out-of-state license, the stakes are even higher because penalties and administrative actions can be issued from both states.

Attorney Sarah Toney is client focused and understands that facing a DUI charge can be terrifying. She also maintains a good reputation built on honesty and integrity with local Chicago prosecutors and judges. Call for a free consultation today to get help and representation from the Toney Law Firm for your out-of-state DUI charges.

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