Arizona is a popular vacation destination during the winter holiday season, and many tourists choose to drive their own cars or rent a vehicle while visiting. Unfortunately, many visitors don't realize that Arizona is one of the toughest states when it comes to enforcing laws for driving under the influence. As a result, a great deal of visitors who live outside of Arizona get arrested for DUI while visiting the state.
Do DUIs Carry Over Into Your Home State?
The legal blood alcohol concentration limit is the same in each state – any BAC over .08 can get you charged with DUI if you are stopped by law enforcement. However, each state has different ways of charging DUI offenses.
Most states have agreed to what is known as an interstate Drivers License Agreement (DLA), which means that if you are stopped in State B, information about your DUI arrest will be sent to the DMV/licensing agency in State A, your home state. Once they find out about your DUI, they can then impose license penalties in your home state that you must deal with in addition to your out-of-state criminal charges.
While they may have the power to suspend your driving privileges in their state, they are not allowed to take your actual license – only your state of residence can do that.
What To Do If You Received an Out-of-State DUI
If you or someone you love has recently been arrested for DUI in Arizona and are a resident of another state, you may have concerns about the added difficulties of the coming legal process. Below are a few points out of state motorists should take into account following an Arizona DUI charge:
- Familiarize Yourself with the Penalties - Be aware of the penalties you face for your charge, as they can help you understand the importance of taking this matter seriously. Hefty fines and fees, court ordered classes, and possible terms of imprisonment are common penalties for DUI in Arizona.
- Penalties Follow You Home - In addition to becoming familiar with the potential penalties you face, remember that they will follow you home. License suspensions, for example, will likely be applicable in your home state and counted as a prior offense, as most states have sharing compacts that require arresting states to report offenses to law enforcement in an offender's home state. You must take immediate action to protect your driving privileges following a DUI arrest.
- You Have the Right to an Attorney - Following an out of state arrest, having an attorney on your side can be crucial to saving you a great deal of time and headache. Your attorney can help you protect your license and reduce potential penalties.
At Knowles Law Firm, PLC, our legal team has represented a number of out of state clients who were arrested for crimes while visiting Arizona, including many who were arrested for DUI-related charges. If you have questions about dealing with an out of state DUI arrest and how our firm can help, contact us today for a FREE case evaluation.