Alabama drivers may already know what to expect if they are arrested and charged with DUI. What if you have an Alabama license but get charged while driving in another state? Can you lose your license? Will you have to return for court? If you are an Alabama license holder and charged with DUI while driving out of state, or you were arrested while driving in Alabama, it is important to have a clear understanding of your rights and obligations. Remember that every state has different DUI laws and penalties that could impact your rights.
Every state has its own laws and penalties involving driving under the influence. Depending on what state you live in or carry a license from and what state you are pulled over and charged in, your fines and penalties can vary. Our Birmingham DUI attorneys are dedicated to helping both residents and non-residents protect their rights and challenge drunk driving allegations. We will take a comprehensive approach to review your case, identify weak or illegally obtained evidence, and explore every opportunity to protect your rights.
Federal law has set the legal drunk driving limit at a .08 blood alcohol limit, but states can charge, prosecute and penalize alleged drunk drivers differently depending on the nature of the offense and the facts of your case. In some instances, out-of-state residents who are charged with a DUI may face even more severe fines and penalties than if they were charged in their own state.
When facing a DUI charge out of your state of residency, the important point to remember is that most states have entered into an interstate driver’s license compact agreement. This means that if you are pulled over, charged and convicted of DUI or another traffic violation, your home state will be notified of the offense. Not only will you face penalties out of state, but you could lose your license in your home state. The record and information about your arrest will likely be sent back to local police where they can decide whether to additionally punish you according to your resident-state DUI laws.
Remember that the long-term consequences of a DUI conviction in-state or out-of-state can be severe. In addition to losing your license, fines, and jail time, you could also face a damaging criminal record. You can also lose your right to drive in the state where the offense occurred.
If you are arrested for DUI outside of your resident state, that state law enforcement or DMV cannot take your driver’s license. They can, however, impose fines, jail time and other punishments, even for out of state residents. Similarly, if you hold a license from a surrounding state and are arrested in Alabama, you could face punishments here and in your home state. Regardless of where you are arrested and charged, it is important to have a clear understanding of your rights and the potential penalties that you face. If you are an out-of-state resident facing charges in Alabama, you should also consult with a local attorney who can help you protect your rights and long-term interests.