Vacations are a time to cut loose and relax. However, the consequences of a DUI may follow you back home. Picture yourself driving back to the hotel after a few drinks on the Florida beach, when an officer stops you for not observing a local traffic law. The next thing you know, you may be facing a DUI charge.
If the courts find you guilty of a DUI, you will be subject to the same penalties as Florida residents. Additionally, returning to your home state may not absolve you of penalties such as license suspension and community service.
States will communicate
Florida is part of the Driver License Compact, which is an agreement between 45 states and Washington D.C. to share information about certain traffic offenses that happen within respective state borders. Only Michigan, Wisconsin, Georgia, Massachusetts, and Tennessee are not part of this compact.
Under this agreement, Florida courts will inform the driver’s home state of any DUI penalties that they should enforce. If your home state is also part of the compact, you can expect your home courts to enforce penalties such as license suspensions and probations.
Even if your home state is not a part of the compact, you may still face license suspension. When an officer arrests you for a DUI, they will report the incident to the National Driver Register. This may result in a license suspension until your case is closed. This is often one of the harshest penalties imposed on those facing DUI charges as it impacts daily life. You may appeal to get the suspension removed but must do so quickly as there are time limits to submit your appeal that vary from state to state.
Court procedure for out of state DUI’s
Although penalties will follow you back to your home state, court proceedings will likely happen in the state of Florida. Failing to show up at a required court procedure will result in a warrant for your arrest. This means you may be looking at extra costs associated with travel and lodging when dealing with court proceedings from a charge you face while on vacation.
However, finding a local attorney who is licensed to practice in that state and knows local laws can help reduce these costs, as they might be able to represent you without you present. All DUI’s are serious charges and they certainly don’t just go away after you leave the state.