The Interstate Driver’s License Compact and Your Out-of-State DUI

By April 14, 2016Thomas Law Firm

Colorado DUI laws differ in some ways from the laws in other states, so you might not know what to do if, for some reason, you leave Colorado and are stopped for DUI in a different state.

The Interstate Driver’s License Compact is an agreement between the vast majority of states in the U.S. that facilitates communication of DUI charges from state to state. To put it simply, it’s an agreement to honor the penalties for out-of-staters charged with DUI.

One Driver, One License, One Record

Thanks to interlinked computer systems used by law enforcement, news of your out-of-state DUI can reach Colorado authorities in a variety of ways. Colorado is not interested in most minor offenses you can commit while driving in another state; parking tickets, for example, don’t really matter as far as the Compact goes. You might get a warrant in that other state if you fail to pay, but Colorado police won’t be beating down your door to haul you in for speeding in New Jersey.

However, bigger offenses such as DUI will get back to Colorado, and when they do, you should be ready for the consequences. The state you are in will inflict their own punishments on you, such as fines, the need for a court appearance, potential jail time and losing your right to drive in that state. Colorado will be waiting to do more of the same when you return home.

We should note that, for offenses to count under the Compact, both states must have equivalent statutes. If something is illegal in one state, but not the other, the state where the offense is legal will not seek punishment.

If you have been charged with an out-of-state DUI, you can prepare to fight your charges by contacting a Denver DUI lawyer.

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