What is the Driver License Compact?

By Jonathan Blecher on July 17, 2017

Since Miami is a magnet for tourists and “snowbirds,” DUI attorneys see their fair share of out-of-towners who are arrested for DUI. If you were arrested for driving under the influence while visiting Miami, you’re probably wondering how a Florida DUI will affect your driving privileges in your home state.

Will your home state find out about the DUI? Will your license be suspended back home? It depends if your home state is a member of the Driver License Compact.

The Driver License Compact is an interstate compact used by all but five states to exchange information about the traffic violations and driver’s license suspensions of nonresidents.

The theme of the Driver License Compact is “One Driver, One License, One Record.” This means that if you get a DUI in Florida, your home state would treat the DUI as if it was committed back home. This means that your home state would apply its state laws to your Florida DUI offense.

In other words, your home state would treat the Florida DUI as if it happened at home. So, you would face the same penalties as if the DUI was committed in your home state. This would apply to an alcohol-related DUI, a DUI involving prescription or illegal drugs, a hit and run, a DUI accident, a DUI with injuries, or DUI manslaughter.

The five non-member states are Massachusetts, Michigan, Tennessee, Wisconsin, and our Georgia.

Under the Driver License Compact:

  • Your Florida DUI will be reported to your home state.
  • The DUI laws in your home state will apply to your Florida DUI.

Regardless of what state you live in, you can’t ignore your DUI criminal court hearing. Plus, if your DUI case goes to trial, your presence may be beneficial since juries tend to be more understanding when they can look a defendant in the eyes.

Will an Administrative License Suspension be Reported?

Interestingly, pre-trial administrative license suspensions (done immediately upon arrest) are not reported to the National Driver License Registry. Under the Compact only convictions from a court will be transmitted.

Under the Compact, a “conviction” means a conviction of any offense related to the use or operation of a motor vehicle which is prohibited by state law, municipal ordinance, or administrative rule or regulation, or a forfeiture of bail, bond, or other security deposited to secure appearance by a person charged with having committed any such offense, and which conviction or forfeiture is required to be reported to the licensing authority.

The good news is that if your DUI charges can be reduced or dismissed, your home state may not take any action against you. To discuss your options  and legal strategies, contact my firm, Jonathan Blecher, P.A. for a free consultation!

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