It’s never ideal to get a traffic ticket outside of your home state. Getting a DUI while traveling, however, can be particularly difficult to handle. Once the roadside gymnastics and breathalyzer tests are complete and you’re found to be over the limit, you’re faced with the already complex task of defending yourself in a DUI case, while also facing potential travel back to the state where the crime was committed and repercussions in your home state.
The first thing to know is that you should never simply ignore the problem and return to your home state. While the state you were charged with a crime in technically only has the ability to suspend your driving privileges in that state, rather than suspending your license entirely, information about your charge or conviction is typically shared with your home state. If you avoid dealing with the charge or miss a deadline to submit your plea, it will be incredibly difficult, if not impossible, to avoid the penalties of a DUI conviction.
The first thing you should do is find a DUI lawyer in the state where you were charged with the DUI. Each state has its own laws and procedures for DUI cases, and a local lawyer will be the best person to help you navigate the system and act in your defense. In most cases, if you’re convicted for a DUI in another state, you also face consequences in your home state. This typically includes a license suspension. However, if you have previous DUI convictions on your record in your home state, you may also face the additional consequences that come with repeated offenses in that state on top of the penalties you face in the state where you were convicted. For this reason it is important to consider seeking out a DUI lawyer in your home state as well.
Ultimately, if you’re charged with a DUI outside of your home state, you face more consequences than you would in if you were convicted in your home state, including steep fines and jail time in another state. It is best to use the same caution you would at home and avoid drunk driving while traveling.