One of the best ways to ruin a vacation is to get pulled over and arrested for driving under the influence (DUI). Drunk driving is illegal in all states in the U.S., but can be especially frustrating and inconvenient if it happens in a state that you do not call home. If you are a Georgia resident, and you get arrested for DUI outside of Georgia, your license will be taken away from you. This will create several complications.
Getting Home After an Out-of-State DUI
First and foremost, you will be miles away from home, and without your driver's license. Getting caught while driving without a driver's license will result in substantial penalties, but if you choose to fly back home, you may have difficulty supplying the correct identification to get past airport security and onto your plane. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) requires a current identification that includes your name, date of birth, gender, expiration date, a tamper-resistant feature, as well as your picture. Examples of identifications that the TSA finds acceptable are:
- A U.S. or foreign passport, or U.S. passport card,
- Department of Homeland Security “Trusted Traveler” cards, or enhanced driver's license,
- U.S. military identifications,
- Permanent resident or border crossing card,
- Native American tribal photo identification,
- An airline-issued identification.
If you do not have one of these other forms of identification and need to get on a flight, get to the airport early, and bring any kind of identification that you have. Explain that your driver's license was suspended for DUI, and the TSA and your airline carrier will try to work something out.
Getting Your License Back
If you are a Georgia resident, but get convicted for DUI while in another state, your Georgia driver's license will be suspended, and you will not be able to get it back until you have passed through the clearance procedures of both Georgia and the arresting state. The procedures for getting your license cleared by another state vary, depending on the state. The Georgia Department of Public Safety, however, will require that you get a letter of clearance from the arresting state, which says that they are fine with you getting your Georgia license back.
To pass Georgia's clearance procedures, you will have to wait 120 days, present a Certificate of Completion from an approved substance abuse program, and an appropriate reinstatement fee.
Defending an Out-of-State DUI Charge
Because the laws of different states are not the same, you will likely need to hire a DUI defense attorney in the state that arrested you. Depending on the court procedures in that state, you may or may not be required to be present in court for your arraignment. If you are required to be in court, this will be especially inconvenient for you.
These complications make out-of-state DUI charges especially problematic. If you are seeking an experienced DUI attorney, or if you have any other questions about the process, call me at the law offices of Richard S. Lawson: (404) 816-4440.