Driving Under the Influence


We routinely represent business people and tourists on DUI cases who are from other states and countries, and who therefore have driver‘s licenses issued by those other jurisdictions where they reside. These cases pose special jurisdictional problems, especially with regard to the license issues, and require special attention and knowledge. These people face DUI actions against their driving privilege not only in California, but in their home jurisdictions as well.

Unlike California licensees, the arresting officers are not legally entitled to confiscate a license issued by another jurisdiction, although they sometimes do so. If this happens, action must then be taken to have the license returned.

The reason that California can take action against people with driver‘s licenses from other jurisdictions, or even people with no license at all, is that the action is against the driving privilege. A driver‘s license is separate from a driving privilege. A person must have both in order to legally drive.

If a person has a driver‘s license from another jurisdiction, and has not become a California resident by living in the state for 180 days or more, that person has a privilege to drive in California, if no action has been taken against that privilege. If action has been taken against that privilege, the person may not drive in California, even if legally licensed in another jurisdiction.

A DUI action may not only suspend the California driving privilege of an out-of-state licensee, but it may also lead to action against his license and driving privilege in his home state. This happens through an Interstate Compact, which 45 of the 50 states have now signed. Under this agreement, these states have agreed to share information on drivers, and to actually notify each other of actions taken against drivers. Moreover, in this day of computerized records and the internet, it is very easy for states to obtain information from other jurisdictions.

In addition to the driver‘s license problems posed for the out-of-state driver in their home state, they face particular driving problems in the state of California. The result for these drivers is stiffer sanctions on their ability to drive in California. This can pose special problems for business people who, will residing in another state, need to drive in California on a regular basis.

If convicted of a DUI offense in court, these drivers face special problems in trying to comply with their sentence. These drivers need special assistance in trying to comply with court-ordered alcohol education programs, which are a mandatory part of any DUI sentence. While these programs are becoming more uniform as a result of the interstate compact, there are still differences between states that pose special hurdles that the driver must navigate in order to comply with court orders.

If for no other reason, drivers from other states arrested for DUI offenses need an experienced DUI attorney to make court appearances on their behalf, and to ensure compliance with court orders. Compliance with court orders is a maze that a person must navigate, and having the knowledge of the procedure is a necessity, particularly for a person trying to do so from a distance. The last thing that any person wants is to end up in jail by violating a grant of probation, either unknowingly or due to a clerical oversight.

Do you need the services of an exceptional dui attorney in Southern California including Los Angeles and Orange County? The dui lawyer in our Orange County office has extensive experience in criminal law as both a high profile prosecutor and public defender. Attorney Mike Brewer can help. Contact us for more information.