If you’re planning a road trip down to Florida or just visiting some family in Wisconsin, you may plan on imbibing in some spirits once you’ve reached your destination. This is fine so long as you keep it in check and don’t get behind the wheel after drinking. If you end up making a mistake and getting a DUI in another state, don’t just assume you can scamper back to Illinois and avoid penalties by never returning to the other state. That’s not how the system works, and it can have significant repercussions for your ability to drive in Illinois. Below, we explain what can happen if you get an out of state DUI and how you should proceed once you’re back in Illinois.
Out Of State DUI
When it comes to an out of state DUI, it’s important to recognize that it’s not just an issue in the state you were traveling to at the time of the arrest. If you are charged with a crime like DUI in another state, that is the only state that can punish you criminally for the act. So if you get a DUI in Wisconsin, only the Wisconsin court can hand down punishments like jail, fines or alcohol education classes. However, both the state you were traveling to and your home state of Illinois can lay down repercussions for your driver’s license.
Let’s go back to the DUI example in Wisconsin. Say you get a DUI in Milwaukee the court offers to allow you to plead guilty to DUI in exchange for a $600 fine, completion of an alcohol education course and a 90-day license suspension. This may sound like a worthwhile deal, but you need to remember that license restrictions can also be put in place by Illinois. Our state is much tougher on DUIs than many neighboring states. If you accept the deal, Wisconsin will report the incident to Illinois, and they may impose harsher license restrictions. For example, if you refuse a breathalyzer in another state, Illinois automatically suspends your license for one year, regardless of how the other state wants to restrict your license.
So what should you do if you are arrested for a DUI in another state?
Consulting with a lawyer in the area to help get you out of jail may be helpful right away, but before you get much further into the process, you also need to contact a DUI lawyer in Illinois. Illinois lawyers have a more thorough understanding of our DUI laws and how convictions in another state can impact your ability to drive once you return to Illinois. You won’t come back to Illinois to find another $600 fine for your DUI, but we’ve talked to clients who thought they were getting a short license suspension for their out of state DUI only to get a letter from the Illinois government saying their license is suspended or revoked for a much longer period. It’s always best to consult with a lawyer from your home state, even when the crime occurred in another state.
So if you traveled for spring break or a vacation and ended up running into some trouble with the law, reach out to the experienced lawyers at Appelman Law today. Not only can we help you understand what you’re up against, but we can help put forth a defense plan to help you attain a favorable result. For more information or to get in contact with our firm, give us a call today at (630) 717-7801.