Driving under the influence is a serious driving offense, and it can destroy not only your life, but those around you.
About 10,000 people die each year because of drunk driving in the United States.
You could be one of those drivers that get charged with a DUI, even if you are not in your home state.
Legal matters for DUI license suspension and revocation are already complicated enough, but now you have to wonder what you have to do if you committed the act in another state?
Do you have to stay there and/or go back for court hearings? Can you deal with this from your home in St. Charles?
This is your guide for if you get a DUI outside of Illinois.
Driver License Compact
One of the first things that you need to familiarize yourself with if you commit a driving violation outside of your state is the DLC (Driver License Compact). This is basically an agreement between the majority of the states in the US to enforce its most serious driving laws on a national level.
A DUI would fall under this category, as it is treated as one of the most serious driving violations under this agreement.
Out of 50 states, 45 of them are part of the DLC, including Illinois. So, if you commit a DUI in any of those 45 states, then those states will file a notice with the Illinois Secretary of State, and then the charges you faced in the state that you committed the violation may also apply in Illinois in regards to your driver’s license.
An example would be if you went to Iowa and got charged with a DUI. When you get charged, Iowa would tell Illinois what you did, and it could affect your Illinois driver’s license
What States Are Not in the DLC?
The five states that are not involved with the DLC are Massachusetts, Tennessee, Georgia, Wisconsin, and Michigan.
If you commit a DUI in one of these states, does that mean that it will not come back to bite you in Illinois? Not so fast.
For most of these states, that is not the case. All of the states above except Wisconsin and Michigan are part of a different agreement called the Non-Resident Violator Compact (NRVC).
The NRVC is another agreement between a majority of the states designed to hold drivers accountable for violations outside of their home state. It is a little different from the DLC in that this agreement focuses on making sure that your debts and time have been served with the state that you committed the violation.
If you get a DUI in Georgia, you will not have the DUI itself reported under the DLC. However, the NRVC would hold you accountable for paying any fines and performing any obligations that you were sentenced to for the violation. If you do not take care of those, then Georgia can report that, and the violation, to Illinois. It is common practice for all of the non-DLC states to still report DUI convictions to Illinois which will revoke your driver’s license.
Facing the DUI
Unfortunately for you, with a DUI being labeled as a serious offense, you would have to appear in person for court hearings in the state in which you committed the violation. So, if you have an Illinois driver’s license, and you commit a DUI in California, you still have to go out to California to court, instead of staying locally in St. Charles.
This is where a DUI can get really expensive. As it is, the average DUI can cost you over $10,000. Now, you have to add travel costs to appear in court in what can be across the country.
You have to be prepared to face the music, and with almost every state cooperating with each other about your driving violations, there is nowhere for you to run from it.
Find a DUI Lawyer
In order to deal with a DUI, you naturally will need legal representation who knows the laws of DUIs inside and out. For out-of-state residents, it can complicate things for who you should hire.
You should always hire a lawyer from the state in which you committed the violation. This is because the court hearings are going to take place in the state where you committed the DUI and the laws and penalties for it will be under that jurisdiction.
If you are from Iowa, but committed a DUI in St. Charles, then you need to hire a DUI lawyer from Illinois because they will know the specific laws in Illinois better than an Iowa lawyer would.
Every state has its own rules, loopholes, and stricter penalties. You need to find a lawyer that will reflect that.
Finally, there is reinstatement needed if you get revoked in Illinois. To get an Illinois driver’s license reinstatement, you will have to go through the hearing process.
You may also have to provide proof of insurance and in some more extreme cases, have an ignition interlock system in your vehicle.
Do Not Face Your DUI Alone
If you are facing a DUI in another state, you are probably feeling scared and nervous about how it will affect your life. Well, there is a way to get the guidance it will take to get you through this.
Contact us and get a free consultation today.