While penalties for DUI offenses vary from state-to-state, DUI is illegal in all 50 states, and the legal limit is 0.08% whether you are in Alaska, Texas, or the Florida Keys. DUI penalties are harsh in Tacoma, Washington, even if it is considered a misdemeanor offense. Penalties are strict anywhere you go, which is why you can face a DUI in Washington even if you are arrested in Oregon. In fact, thanks to the driver license compact agreement, you may even face TWO charges, one in each state.
Driver License Compact
Nearly all states and the District of Columbia participate in what is called the Driver License Compact, or DLC. This is an interstate agreement that each state uses to communicate with each other regarding traffic infractions and license suspensions. If you are a non-resident of a state that participates, and you receive a citation for any traffic violation or your license is suspended due to DUI, your home state will be notified. So, a Washington resident receiving a DUI in New Mexico will face Washington DUI penalties. In some cases, you may even receive penalties in both states.
The DLC’s mission is for every driver in the United States to have just one license and one record. There are times when you may be cited for a violation that is not recognized by your home state. If, for example, you are from New Mexico but you are driving in Washington state while holding up a cell phone, you may be cited in Washington for this because of the hand-held device ban. However, you would not be liable as this law is not at all recognized and no such ban exists in New Mexico.
License Suspension across State Lines
If, as a Washington resident, your license is suspended due to a DUII in Oregon, you can be sure that the suspension will qualify once you get back home to Washington. Oregon cannot officially suspend your license, only the right to drive within its borders. Depending on the details surrounding your Oregon DUII case with a Washington driver’s license, your options to defend your DUII may vary. It is important to speak with a DUI attorney within 10 days of the incident for the best possible outcome.
For competent and aggressive DUI defense in Washington, contact Murphy’s Law Offices at (253) 312-6122 and ask for a free consultation with Daniel J. Murphy, Jr. Murphy’s Law Offices handles DUI and criminal defense throughout Washington state, with offices in Federal Way and Tacoma.