What Happens When Out of State Drivers Commit DUI in Arizona
Imagine the following scenario – you’re visiting relatives in Arizona and while driving back home, you’re pulled over on DUI suspicion. Does the fact that your license is issued in another state protect you from some of the harsh Arizona penalties? Let’s examine the legal consequences if out of state drivers commit DUI in Arizona.
Only a state that issues a license has the right to suspend or revoke it. Thus, Arizona authorities cannot impose the typical suspension that’s an administrative sanction in the aftermath of driving under the influence with a license issued elsewhere.
A person who gets accused of DUI in Arizona will be issued a temporary local license. Once the local license is issued, the Arizona DMV will have the freedom to impose the sanctions that are common in the aftermath of being charged with DUI.
On top of imposing the local sanctions, the Arizona authorities will also inform the state where the original license was issued. Depending on the circumstances, your home state will either decide to enforce the Arizona sanctions or enforce additional penalties. In a sense, when out of state drivers commit DUI in Arizona, it could have much more serious consequences than being charged of driving under the influence in your home state.
Serving the DUI Sentence
First-time offenders usually are free from having to deal with jail time or a prison sentence. If you commit a more serious DUI offense in Arizona, you face the risk of prison time. In this case, will you have to serve the sentence in Arizona or your home state?
The first thing to do is calm down and call a lawyer. DUI charges do not necessarily mean a DUI conviction. A good lawyer will challenge the investigative process, potentially minimizing the sanctions or dismissing the charges altogether.
If you have to serve jail time, you will have to serve the sentence in Arizona. It may be possible to transfer the sentence to a jail in your home state. For such a transfer to occur, however, you will be responsible for identifying a jail that will take you.
In many states, there is a problem with a large prison population. Thus, ensuring such a transfer from Arizona to your home city may be much more complex than initially anticipated. If your petition for a transfer is turned down, you will have to serve the entire sentence in an Arizona jail. Even if the petition is honored, you will have to cover all of the expenses stemming from the transfer.
Arizona is one of the states that mandates the installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) in nearly all DUI cases. This requirement is valid for out-of-state drivers, as well.
The mandatory installation of the IID should occur as your license suspension is over. This means you could already be home at the time. There’s no requirement for returning to Arizona in order to have the IID installed. A local installer that meets the Arizona legal requirements will be capable of handling the procedure.
The only complication you will have to deal is delivering the IID readings to the Arizona DMV. For the purpose, you will need to communicate the specifics of the situation with the IID manufacturer and the entity responsible for its installation.
If you have prior DUI convictions in your home state, you could face more serious sanctions in Arizona. These DUI charges will be on record, giving Arizona law enforcement professionals the information needed to prosecute you as a repeat offender.
Facing a criminal process away from home can be incredibly stressful. This is why you shouldn’t hesitate contacting an Arizona DUI attorney as soon as possible. An experienced local legal professional will answer your questions, explain the specifics of the Arizona criminal process and ensure the best representation when out of state drivers commit DUI in Arizona.