Most Philadelphians remember when former Eagles quarterback, Donovan McNabb – a dual resident of Pennsylvania and Arizona – was arrested in Arizona for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) for a second time.

However, this raises the question: Will Pennsylvania find out about a DUI in another state? Will it affect my ability to drive in PA? More importantly, if subsequently arrested for DUI in Pennsylvania, would it be a first or second offense?

The answer depends on the little known Driver License Compact (DLC).

If you are pulled over and charged with a DUI anywhere in Chester County, PA, Skinner Law Firm can help you fight the charges and retain your driving privileges. Whether you have prior DUIs on your record in PA or another state, let attorney Skinner review the situation and determine how to deal with your unique situation.To schedule a free and confidential consultation of your case with attorney Michael J. Skinner, call (610) 436-1410 today, or reach out online.

What is the DLC?

The DLC is a compact between 45 states. The goal is to share traffic information to have an across-the-board “one driver license” concept. It prevents individuals with suspended licenses from simply going across state lines and obtaining a new license. It also allows a resident’s home-state to consider certain out-of-state traffic-related offenses, such as DUI, and suspend a home-state license accordingly. Each state has its own rules.

In Pennsylvania, under 75 Pa.C.S. § 1581, PennDOT considers only serious traffic offenses, and will not assess points for minor traffic infractions. Your license will be suspended for one year if convicted of any of the following out-of-state traffic offenses:

  • Manslaughter in connection with the use of a motor vehicle
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs if the statute is substantially similar in nature to PA’s DUI laws under 75 Pa.C.S. 3802 (see below)
  • A felony conviction in connection with the use of a motor vehicle
  • Failure to stop and render aid in the event of a motor vehicle accident results in death or personal injury

Out of state DUIs in Pennsylvania

If you receive a DUI in another state, and it is your first offense ever, 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 subsection 3802(a).

Under this subsection, there is no license suspension. 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.

PA license suspension. Can I go to another state and get a new one?

No. If your license in your home-state is suspended and you attempt to obtain a license from any of the DLC states using a DLC residence, you will not be able to obtain a driver’s license. Under the information-sharing agreement clause of the DLC, a notice of an applicant’s license suspension gets shared among the states.

This same concept is true for out of state residents trying to obtain a PA driver’s license. PennDOT will not issue a driver’s license for any out of state driver who has a suspended license. 75 Pa.C.S. § 1503.

Will ARD in Pennsylvania Impact a DUI in Another State

PennDOT has a 10-year look-back period. In addition, ARD is considered a conviction for subsequent sentencing and licensing purposes. If you received ARD for a DUI within the past 10 years, and subsequently convicted of DUI in any DLC state, your license will be suspended for at least one year.

Are Out of State DUIs Considered in PA’s Look-Back Period

If you have a conviction for DUI in a DLC state and are subsequently convicted of DUI in PA within 10 years, you will be sentenced as a second offender. Under 75 Pa.C.S. § 1581, Article III, and IV, a conviction from a DLC state will have the same effect as if it occurred in PA.

For example, if you get convicted of DUI in Florida, and subsequently convicted of DUI: Highest Tier (.16+) in PA, you will be subject to the second-offender penalties. This includes a minimum incarceration of 90 days, a minimum $1,500 fine, and an 18-month license suspension.

Speak with a Chester County DUI Lawyer

If your situation is similar to any of the above DUI or  PA driver’s license issues, it is in your best interest to contact an attorney immediately. Contact the Skinner Law Firm at (610) 436-1410 today, or reach out online to discuss your case. Initial consultations are free and confidential.

Article Author

Michael J. Skinner, the founder of Skinner Law Firm LLC, is a former prosecutor with the Chester County District Attorney’s Office.

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