The Impact Of An Out-Of-State DUI
Patrick Leu, a resident of Mason, MI, was arrested a few days ago in Vigo County, Indiana, for drunk driving. The Indiana State Police say that a trooper witnessed the suspected drunk driver behaving erratically and driving the wrong way down U.S. 41 near Johnson Avenue.
According to the arresting officer, Leu failed a field sobriety test and his blood alcohol level was three times the legal limit for the state of Indiana. Because Indiana has the same legal alcohol limit as Michigan, Leu’s BAC would have been around .24, which in Michigan would result in a ‘super drunk’ charge. But Indiana doesn’t have a ‘super drunk’ law, although they do have stiff penalties for drunk driving. Leu is facing DUI charges, along with several traffic violations.
So, when a Michigan resident is arrested for a DUI out-of-state, what can they expect?
First, you need to understand that while each state is independent and has it’s own laws and penalties, when it comes to DUI arrests, most states have very similar regulations. Most states also use a national information system called the Interstate Compact, which is a multi-state agreement among all participating states that allows them to share information, and conviction details, and to reciprocate punishments against offenders.
Also, there is the National Drivers Registry, which is a central repository of all driver’s histories. This allows authorities in other states to review an out-of-state driver’s history, in the event of a traffic stop or an arrest.
After the arrest, a hearing will be scheduled. If the arresting state feels that the circumstances warrant it, you could be held for the hearing and/or the trial. If there are any fines, it is likely that you will be required to pay them before being released. If you are released pending a summons, it is always advised that you return for the court date. The arresting state doesn’t care about how inconvenient or expensive it may be for you to return, but if you ignore the summons, you can expect a bench warrant for your arrest.
Michigan residents need to understand that even though a drunk driving ticket is out of state, the Michigan Secretary of State will treat a conviction as if it occurred here. Therefore, the possibility of a loss of driver privileges should be considered