Out of State DUI

You and your friends are in Milwaukee for the weekend. You’ve had a few drinks but you certainly don’t feel intoxicated and the hotel is only a few minutes away. You make a wrong turn and suddenly the territory isn’t so familiar. You reach for your phone to turn on the GPS. While doing so, you slow down and your car swerves ever-so-slightly into the adjacent lane. The next thing you know you’re bathed in a sea of blue-and-red light. Police sirens. Your own personal nightmare has begun.

We all condemn drunk driving, yet the fact remains that thousands of Americans fail to heed common sense warnings against driving under the influence. Drunk driving falls within states’ police powers, and every state has its own statute for drunk driving. This means that if you get arrested in a different state for a first-offense DUI, it will likely result in different consequences than if you were arrested in Illinois for the same infraction.

The Interstate Compact Agreement

If you are licensed out of state, the Interstate Driver’s License Compact – an agreement between most states – requires that the state issuing a DUI/DWI notify the state where you are licensed to drive. Therefore, if you are arrested for a DUI in another state, that state will then contact the Illinois Secretary of State’s office, which will then enter the conviction on your record.

States that are a party to the Interstate Compact Agreement are also required to report all breathalyzer tests and blood alcohol test refusals to one another. This remains true even in instances where the individual arrested ends up having his or her DUI reduced or even dismissed altogether. Once the Secretary of State learns of a person’s refusal to be tested, Illinois will then suspend your license for an entire year – at a minimum – and up to 3 years if you have had another DUI in the last 5 years.

Illinois Will Uphold Your Out-of-State Conviction, Even if Its Laws Are Different

Important to remember is that simply because you return to Illinois as a citizen of the state, Illinois will uphold the law of the state where you were arrested – and follow their guidelines as to your driving record.

For example, when a person is convicted of a DUI in Illinois for a first-offense, he or she will usually receive a sentence of supervision. If satisfactory, the Illinois Secretary of State will not revoke the offender’s license. However, the majority of other states do not have laws similar to this one. Therefore if an offender is convicted or pleads guilty in another state, the DUI could be on his or her record in Illinois as a conviction. The practical impact of this is that Illinois will then receive the conviction report and honor it by revoking the person’s license.

To be even more specific, an Illinois citizen arrested on the Wisconsin border for a first offense might lose his or her driving privileges in both Illinois and Wisconsin, but if he or she was arrested in Illinois, he or she would be able to keep their driving privileges.

An Out of State DUI Conviction Illinois

If you have never been convicted of a DUI before, your first DUI conviction will result in either a supervision (essentially probation) or a one-year suspension. If you have two DUIs within a 20-year period, however, the minimum amount of time your license will be revoked jumps up to five years. If you have three convictions within twenty years, ten years will be the minimum time of your next revocation. Four DUI convictions and a driver will be permanently barred from obtaining an unrestricted license.

Contact the Chicago DUI Lawyers at O’Meara Law LLC

Michael S. O’Meara has defended thousands of clients against countless types of crimes, including DUIs. Our Chicago DUI defense lawyers can help. We have the experience you need to fight an out of state DUI charge and get the legal representation you deserve. If you find yourself on the ropes, contact the attorneys at O’Meara Law LLC at advice@chicagocriminaldefenselawyer.com, or by calling 312-909-0706.