Do DUI Convictions Transfer from State to State?

Black and gold gavel next to a shot of alcohol and car key fob

If you are convicted of a DUI while visiting another state, will that charge follow you to your home state? That depends on whether the state is a Driver License Compact (DLC) member. The DLC is an agreement that allows a driver's home state and the state where they incurred a vehicular infraction to exchange information. Today, we review how DUI convictions transfer from state to state, which states don't count out-of-state DUIs, and what you need to know about the DLC.

If You Have A DUI in another state or are planning on moving with a DUI, Contact Our DUI Defense Team.

How is a DUI Handled in West Virginia?

The West Virginia legislature passed Senate Bill 130 in the winter of 2020, which the governor later signed into law. It will transform how a DUI charge is handled in the West Virginia court system. Two different court systems have dealt with DUI charges in West Virginia for decades: The criminal court and the West Virginia DMV driver's license administrative court, which the Office of Administrative Hearings currently handles.

As of July 1, 2020, this is no longer the case. An administrative hearing on a driver's license has been eliminated since the criminal courts will now have full jurisdiction over DUI cases. According to the new law, the Office of Administrative Hearings was abolished on July 1, 2021, and any pending administrative hearings or hearing decisions are being dismissed.

The most significant change to this new law was that a citizen accused of DUI in the State of West Virginia from July 1, 2020, forward will only lose his or her driver's license, driving privilege or face a mandatory interlock period if he or she is convicted of DUI in a criminal court. DUI non-convictions have no impact on a citizen's driving privileges.

What Is the Driver License Compact?

The DLC is an agreement between 45 states that holds drivers to similar standards and allows them to share data and information with other states regarding driving infractions, including DUIs. Therefore, if you are convicted of a DUI in another state while on vacation, the charge will likely follow you back home. But five states don't count out-of-state DUIs, as they don't communicate infractions with other states.

States That Don't Count Out of State DUI

It is important to clarify that not all states in the U.S. are members of the DLC, and each state responds differently to information. Here are the states that are not included in the DLC and may not count out-of-state DUIs:

  • Georgia
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Tennessee
  • Wisconsin

If you are a driver from the above state or moving to one of these states, this does not mean you can avoid facing the consequences of a DUI, but these are often referred to as "states that don't count an out-of-state DUI."

What Happens if You Are Convicted of a DUI in WV and Move Out of State?

Penalties for a DUI conviction generally transfer from state to state. You cannot move out of state just to avoid DUI penalties and could get into more trouble if you attempt to do so.

If you are convicted of a DUI in West Virginia and move out of state, you must still abide by the laws of your original home state. The state generally wants you present for any penalties you may face for a DUI in West Virginia. For instance, if you must serve jail time, you will most likely do so in the locality where you committed the DUI offense. If you’re moving out of state with a DUI, an experienced criminal defense attorney can advocate for you to serve your time in your new home state.

Certain parts of the DUI process do not require you to return to West Virginia to complete them. It would be advisable to consult with an attorney to determine these parts and whether he/she can appear on your behalf for court proceedings.

Do DUIs Transfer from State to State?

Imagine you were arrested for a possible DUI offense in Morgantown, but you had already planned to leave West Virginia. If you are convicted, you could face serious penalties preventing you from moving. DUI consequences usually transfer from one state to another, even in best-case scenarios.

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