Florida has very strict rules for DUI. If you are arrested from out of state, the rules used, and your legal rights, may be different from your own home state. Many DUI arrests take place in Florida of those who hold out of state licenses.
What Happens if you are Arrested for DUI in Florida?
In the state of Florida, a DUI charge related to out of state licenses is dealt with in a certain way. This is because the state is a member of two interstate agreements which regulate the way information on convictions for DUI are shared.
What is the Driver License Compact (DLC)?
The DLC is shared by 43 of the lower 48 states, operating under the slogan “One Driver, One License, One Record.” Its aim is to ensure there is some consistency when each state handles state traffic violations. The member states of the interstate compact are required to exchange information with each other concerning the arrest of a non resident and the issuing of citations.
This exchange means that the defendant’s home state will treat any offense in Florida as if it had taken place at home, which includes all penalties including the suspension of a driving license and points that are added to a driver’s license. That means if you are arrested for DUI in Florida or any other state that is not your own, your home driving record will be taken into consideration when you try to defend your DUI. Also, your home state will record any DUI offense you committed out of state and the penalties imposed on you and your license.
The Non-Resident Violator Compact (NRVC)
The NRVC is shared by 44 states, of which Florida is a member state. It was introduced in the 1970s and helps to process citations that have taken place interstate. For example, if a driver is cited out of their own state, and they make the choice to shun the ticket, the driver’s home state will be informed and will be expected to act accordingly. Not all citations are covered by the NRVC and the emphasis is placed on moving citations.
In order for a driver’s state to penalize a driver for an out-of-state offense, the driver’s state must have the equivalent statute to the state where the DUI or other driving offense took place. If the driver’s state does not have the statute and is not a member of the NRVC, no action can be taken.
All states and Washington D.C. are members of the Non-Resident Violator Compact, except for Michigan, Wisconsin, California, Montana, Oregon and Alaska.
Other Watch Dogs for Interstate Drivers
The National Driver Register (NDR) is another way different states can check on the status of drivers. Its database provides information about any drivers whose licenses have been suspended, revoked, and have committed a traffic violation such as DUI which is serious and resulted in a conviction. It is the job of state motor vehicle agencies to provide the NDR with all names of drivers who have received a conviction for traffic violation which is considered serious. If you move interstate and you apply for a driver’s license, then your name will be checked on the NDR file. If the NDR has received a report about a driver, then the state may refuse to grant a license.
If you have lost your license in another state due to DUI then it will be difficult to obtain one interstate if the NDR records are kept up to date and the state is a member of DLC.
Helping Non-Residents with a Tampa DUI Arrest
When a driver is arrested in Florida, the case will be dealt within the state, so the driver will need to get an attorney to act on their behalf. It is necessary to choose one who has good working knowledge of DLC and NRVC and understands that an interstate driver has the right to be defended as well as a Florida driver. The sharing of interstate driver conviction information means how you are treated out of your own state is important. For an interstate driver, being caught for DUI is particularly difficult as the driver will have no family near at hand for support. An experienced and knowledgeable DUI attorney is essential to ensure you maintain your legal rights.