How to Handle an Out of State DWI
How Does an Out of State DWI Affect Your License?
Across the United States, every state maintains a department that handles DWI cases. This department oversees the driving privileges of the state’s residents. In Texas, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is in this role. Included in their role is the handling of Texas DWI license suspensions. When you are charged with Driving While Intoxicated in another state, it is within their power to take similar action against your license.
The Interstate Agreement on DWI
The Interstate Driver License Compact, or DLC, enables the sharing of records between states that are members of the compact. Texas happens to be a member of the DLC. Essentially, this means that a licensing agency in another state can notify the DPS in Texas when you receive a DWI. In turn, the DPS is able to treat the offense as one committed in Texas.
One Driver, One Record
However, it is important to note that the DLC does not dictate when or how a conviction in another state affects your Texas driver’s license. To put it simply, it makes it easier for state agencies like the DPS to share information about convictions and suspensions. While driver’s licenses are issued by the state, the DLC allows them to operate under the principle of “one driver, one license, one record.”
Likewise, it is important that you know the Texas DPS will only suspend your license if the conviction is considered illegal in Texas. This means that the specific law you broke must have an equivalent law in Texas. For instance, if you receive a traffic ticket in Louisiana for an offense that Texas law does not have in place, it would not automatically transfer to your Texas driving record.
“One Record” Regarding Out of State DWI
Every state has DWI and DUI laws, and they share the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) threshold of .08%. This means that if you are convicted of an out of state DWI in California with a BAC of .08%, the DLC allows Texas DPS to suspend your Texas driver’s license.
It is important to note that underage laws vary by state. Texas is considered to be a zero-tolerance state, meaning that minors caught driving with traceable amounts of alcohol in their blood can face DUI charges. However, other states exercise more leniency for minors, requiring a BAC of .02% or higher for an underage DUI.
Unfortunately, the Texas zero-tolerance policy means that any out of state DWI conviction for a minor is likely to affect their Texas license.
When to Speak to a DWI Lawyer
When you have questions about how an out of state DWI or DUI conviction can affect your driving record, it’s vital that you speak to a Houston DWI lawyer. An experienced DWI criminal defense attorney such as Herman Martinez will be able to detail the potential consequences you could face in Texas. Moreover, he will guide you through the process of fighting any potential suspension of your license.
Are you facing Houston DWI charges? DWI Defense Lawyer Herman Martinez is here to advocate on your behalf. He will advise you on the most appropriate course of action for your particular case.
Our experienced team is capable of handling an array of criminal defense cases, ranging from DWI to domestic violence as well as other misdemeanors and felonies. Contact us today to request a consultation with our Houston DWI defense team.