How Will Pennsylvania Treat My Out of State DUI Conviction?

If you are faced with an out of state conviction of driving under the influence (DUI), what happens? Will Pennsylvania suspend your driver’s license?

The department of motor vehicles in every state has its own process of dealing with DUI cases. Your driving license might get suspended, and you could face additional fines and penalties. In some states — like Pennsylvania, for example — your license will automatically be suspended if you refuse to take a blood-alcohol test.

Many states exchange information via a system called the driver’s license compact, or DLC.

The Pennsylvania Driver License Compact (DLC)

The Driver License Compact is an agreement between states in the United States of America. It is used to exchange information concerning license suspensions and traffic violations for non-residents and forward them to the states where they are licensed, known as the home state. It was created to promote highway safety and traffic law obedience between member states. However, states respond to the agreements differently.

Pennsylvania does recognize out-of-state DUI convictions because it’s one of the 46 members of the states that joined the Driver License Compact. Pennsylvania joined the DLC on January 1, 1995, and was adopted into Pennsylvania law as act 1996-No 149 on December 10, 1996. Some states like Massachusetts, Georgia, Wisconsin, and Tennessee are not members of the DLC states.

If you receive a DUI in another state, and it’s your first offense, Pennsylvania will not suspend your license. Under the DUI penalty statute, Pennsylvania treats an out of state DUI conviction as if it had occurred in PA under section 3802(a). Pennsylvania will also consider an out of state DUI conviction as a first offense if the prior conviction is more than ten years old. However, if it is your second DUI or more, PennDOT will suspend your license for one year. This is in addition to any license suspension penalties from the DLC state.

DLC deals with driving under the influence cases and other violations committed in a member state, which will result in the suspension of ones driving privilege in PA. If executed in a member state, the following offenses would get treated as though the violation has occurred in Pennsylvania, and appropriate sanctions imposed.

  • Manslaughter or negligence homicide resulting from the operation of a motor vehicle (section 3732).

  • failure to stop and render aim in the event of a motor vehicle accident resulting in death or personal injury of another (section 3742).

  • any felony in the commission of which a motor vehicle is used (crimes code and dangerous drug act offenses)

The significant provisions that each member state of the DLC has to uphold and enforce are.

  1. The “one driver’s license” concept, which requires the surrender of an out-of-state driver’s license, when an application for a new license is made.

  2. The “one driver’s license” concept, requires that a complete driver record is maintained in the driver’s state of residency. This determines driving eligibility in one’s home state, as well as for one’s nonresidence operators privilege in other jurisdictions.

  3. It also involves reporting of all traffic convictions and license suspensions of out of state drivers to the home state licensing agency and all appropriate information involved.

Pennsylvania DUI Penalties

Pennsylvania DUI laws prohibit driving or controlling a car physically while under the influence of alcohol or any other drugs. Penalties of DUI conviction depend on the number of offenses committed in the last ten years. DUI offenses are divided into three categories for sentencing: General impairment, high rate, and highest rate.

General impairment DUI consists of drivers with a Blood Alcohol Content BAC of at least .08%. People with less than .10% of the blood alcohol content will face penalties like probation periods, jail terms, and fines. If it’s their first offense, their license will not get suspended. But if it’s a second or third offense, they might get a one-year license suspension.

High rate DUIs consist of at least .10% but less than .16% blood alcohol content. These penalties also apply to offenders that operate commercial vehicles, accidents resulting in injury, death, or property damage. Offenders get longer jail terms that go up to 5years, they get more massive fine amounts, and licenses get suspended for 12 months to 18 months.

The highest rate of DUIs is the last category of penalties. It consists of drivers that have a blood alcohol content of .16% or more. it also has offenders that refused breathalyzer testing hence violating the state implied consent law or violators who had controlled substances in their system. Penalties include longer jail sentences, large fines, and license suspensions.

Administrative Process for Out of State DUI

There is no separate or unique administrative process in Pennsylvania for handling your driver’s license issues or needs that arise as there are in many other states. The law dictates the suspension of your driving privileges under certain circumstances if you get convicted of DUI.

Some of the penalties that one can if one get if convicted of DUI out-of-state

  • Fines from $300 to $5,000

  • Jail time (ranging from five days to two years)

  • Driver’s license suspension for 12 months

  • Interlock ignition device

A first DUI conviction carries the lowest penalties. If you are involved in an accident, it will increase the potential penalties. If your BAC is over 0.10 percent, additional penalties will apply if convicted.

The Pennsylvania ARD Program

The Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition Program is a program that was introduced and is supervised by an ARD Captain. The captain reviews criminal cases for potential admission. ARD is a unique program, approved by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, for first-time offenders who have no prior criminal convictions or previous ARD dispositions.

When facing DUI in Pennsylvania, one of the best options is to pursue the ARD program. The program allows people to earn a dismissal of their DUI charges. Hence, allowing them to avoid a permanent criminal record, one has to complete several tasks, accept accountability for their actions, and to prove to the court that one is no longer a risk to the community. This program usually is available for first-time offenders but can be granted for a second time, if the defendant entered a similar program for DUI more than ten years ago.

If this person’s previous DUI was for a Blood Alcohol Content BAC of less than 0.1, and the prior DUI was his very first DUI ever, he may be eligible to receive ARD a second time within ten years for the present DUI. Using this defense, it may be possible to enter the ARD Program a second time .and lessen the impact of a DUI conviction with the District Attorney’s Office’s cooperation. Still, the safest bet is not to drink and drive in the first place. Drivers facing DUI cannot afford the stiff penalties that come from this serious mistake.

Talk to a Pittsburgh DUI Attorney About Your Case

Driving under the influence is considered a crime in every single state. Hence DUI charges are handled in a criminal court. It is very difficult for a person with no legal experience or training to measure a DUI case’s strengths and weaknesses. Because the DUI laws are complicated and change from time to time and every case’s facts are uniquely different from another, seeking the counsel of an experienced Pittsburgh DUI Attorney like Jacob Wyland is very important and valuable. A DUI Attorney will have an objective opinion about your case and offer a professional perspective. 

Jacob Wyland has many years of experience working as both a prosecutor and a private criminal defense attorney. He has handled thousands of cases hence making him fit for your DUI charges. Jacob Wyland is dedicated to defending you and your rights in a court of law. He provides exceptional, accessible legal services and customer service to his clients.

Contact the Wyland Law Group today for all your DUI out of state or in the state issues. Our telephone number is 412-710-0013. We are always available to you.