What happens to my out of state Drivers License if I get a DUI in Arizona?

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March 17th, 2014 by

What happens to your out of state drivers license if you are visiting Arizona and get a DUI? Does Arizona have the ability to suspend a license from another State?

Only the state that issued your license can suspend, revoke or add points to your license. To get around this for out of state license holders, the Arizona MVD will issue you an Arizona driver license number upon being accused of DUI. Once your “Arizona license” is issued the MVD will then proceed to enforce its penalties against said drivers’ license. A quirk of this process is that the restrictions on your “Arizona license” and the order to install an IID technically only apply when you are driving in the State of Arizona.

While this might sound like good news, it will most likely result in a greater burden on you. This is because, Arizona will also inform your home state of the actions it has taken against you. Your home state will most likely either honor Arizona’s penalties or, as is often the case, it will enforce its own penalties and requirements against you. Therefore, you will now have two states with two different sets of penalties and requirements you need to comply with.

When faced with this, some people choose only to comply with their home state requirements to reinstate their license and ignore Arizona under the assumption that they will just refrain from driving in Arizona. While this may sound reasonable please be aware that your home state, or other states you may be passing through, might consider having any suspended or revoked license (even if it’s limited to Arizona) to nonetheless be driving on a suspended or revoked license under their respective laws. In other words, not resolving your Arizona license may still cause problems even if you have a valid out of state license. As a result, we recommend you take all actions necessary to reinstate your license in both your home state and Arizona.

Furthermore, reducing the Arizona 90 day suspension to 30 days no driving and 60 days restricted is generally not available to out of state license holders. This means that you may very well have to do a full 90 day license suspension. This may be particularly problematic if you reside in Arizona.

Aside from contesting and prevailing on your suspension hearing and criminal DUI; your only real option to avoid a double burden is to cancel your out of state license and obtain an Arizona license as quickly as possible. But keep in mind, there is no guarantee that this will work or can be done quickly enough to work. Moreover, if you don’t reside in Arizona this would not be a practical option.

This Firm is only licensed to practice law in Arizona, so if you need assistance understanding or complying with your home state’s requirements you will need to contact a DUI attorney licensed to practice in your home state.

If you need assistance with defending your DUI please give us a call at (480) 306-8875 and schedule a free consultation or click this link to go directly to our DUI Information Page for the most up to date status of Arizona’s DUI laws.

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