Contact Us for a Free Consultation 510.785.1444

Bay Area Criminal Defense Blog

Arrested for a DUI (OUI, OWI) While Visiting California?

Posted by Lynn Gorelick | Jun 08, 2020 | 0 Comments

Many visitors to California are surprised to see so many police cars patrolling the streets and on the lookout for drunk drivers. In 2015, more than 130,000 DUI arrests were made statewide. Many of those arrests involved out-of-state drivers who were driving through California, tourists on vacation, or on business and traveling for work. 

The penalties for a DUI in California can be harsh but the consequences are much more complicated for drivers with an out-of-state license. If you were arrested for a DUI while visiting California, talk to your experienced East Bay DUI defense attorney to understand your rights and your options. Your DUI lawyer can help you fight to keep your license and may be able to represent you so you don't have to go to court.

How to Challenge a DUI and License Suspension With an Out-of-State License 

There are 3 steps you need to consider after a California DUI with an out-of-state license: 

  1. Challenge the California DMV hearing.
  2. Challenge the California DUI arrest.
  3. Make sure your Home State license is not suspended.

The easiest way to deal with a DUI and avoid a suspended license is to contact your East Bay DUI defense lawyer as soon as possible. 

DUI in California Can Impact Your Out-of-State License 

There are two aspects to a DUI arrest, involving the criminal charges and the administrative consequences of a suspended license. When a driver with a California license is arrested for driving under the influence, the officer will take away the driver's license. However, California law enforcement cannot take away your license issued by another state. 

Most states, including California, are part of the Driver's License Compact (DLC). The DLC is an interstate agreement where member states share reports of traffic violations, including DUIs. Depending on which state issued your license, when your state motor vehicle department receives notice of a DUI arrest or a DUI conviction, the state may suspend your license. 

Administrative DMV Hearing for Out-of-State License Holders

You only have 10 days to challenge the administrative suspension of your California driving privileges. This will not only keep your California driving privileges but it may also prevent your home state license suspension. 

Your California DUI defense lawyer will be able to appear at the DMV hearing on your behalf. You do not have to come back to California to challenge the administrative hearing. 

Court Appearances While Living Out-of-State License Holders

The next part of your case is generally the arraignment. Generally, your attorney can represent you or waive the arraignment so you do not have to come back to California for the short arraignment appearance. However, make sure you do not ignore the arraignment or you may end up with a warrant for your arrest. 

Even if you live out of state, your East Bay DUI attorney may be able to have the court agree to allow you to appear remotely by phone or video so you don't have to go back to California just to go to court. 

College Students in California With an Out-of-State License 

Many college and university students come to California to go to school but keep the driver's license from their home state. These students may face an additional hurdle of being able to deal with the DUI in California but having to return to their parent's house to get their license reinstated. 

Many students do not want to tell their parents about a DUI arrest but ignoring the DUI is the wrong move. Ignoring the criminal charges may result in a bench warrant or make drivers risk driving on a suspended license. Contact your Alameda County DUI defense lawyer who can challenge the criminal charges and may be able to prevent a suspension of your home state license.  

Call for Help After a DUI Arrest in the East Bay

With over 30 years of experience, Lynn Gorelick understands how the police and prosecutors can make it harder for drivers who live in a different state. If you are facing a DUI with a license from Arizona, Nevada, or other state, contact the local DUI lawyer who understands that you do not have to plead guilty just because you were arrested.

About the Author

Lynn Gorelick

Lynn Gorelick has been an attorney for over 36 years. She is the Attorney Lynn Gorelick is the Immediate Past President of the California DUI Lawyers Association and a Faculty and Sustaining member of the National College of DUI Defense. Lynn is a Specialist Member of the California DUI Lawyers Association and lectures frequently to other attorneys regarding DUI and DMV issues.


There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment

Serving The Bay Area

We strive to make the highest quality legal representation accessible and affordable.