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What happens if you get a DUI in another state?

On Behalf of | Jan 6, 2022 | Criminal Defense

If you live in Pennsylvania and travel to a nearby state, you may wonder what your penalties will look like if you get pulled over for drinking and driving while out of state. You may also wonder if the state of Pennsylvania will even know about your arrest upon return.

It is important that you do not try and hide a DUI arrest from the state of Pennsylvania while applying for a driver’s license. Due to the Driver License Compact, Pennsylvania is one of 46 states that recognizes out-of-state DUI convictions.

The Driver License Compact

The DLC is an interstate agreement created to promote traffic law obedience and highway safety between the states under this compact. If, for example, you get arrested for a DUI in New York or New Jersey, these states will report the situation to the state of Pennsylvania. Then, Pennsylvania will recognize this offense on your record and penalties will apply.

Potential penalties

If this is your first DUI, according to Section 3802(a)(2), the state will not suspend your driver’s license. Additionally, Pennsylvania will view your out-of-state DUI conviction as a first offense if your prior DUI is at least 10 years old. Besides these stipulations, the same penalties for a DUI will apply to an out-of-state conviction as the ones that would occur if your conviction originally occurred in Pennsylvania.

The penalties for DUI, depending on the offense, can be severe. Some of these may include the requirement to complete community service, spend time in jail or pay a significant fine.