7 Things Out of State Drivers Need to Know When Getting a DUI in California


California has some of the country’s strictest Driving Under the Influence (DUI) laws and they are applied equally to both in state and out of state drivers.  In Los Angeles, DUI crimes are charged under:

Because state law will apply, if you currently live in another state and have been arrested for a DUI in California, you will want an attorney to assist you through the proceedings.1

Regardless of what state you live in, a California police officer does not have jurisdiction to confiscate your license if it was issued out of state.  Though the officer cannot confiscate your license, you will receive an Order of Suspension that notifies you that your California driving privileges will be suspended in 30 days.  Driving itself is a privilege in California and the DMV can take away that privilege during an arrest for a DUI.2

10 Days To Schedule a Hearing

After you receive the Order of Suspension, you have 10 days to schedule a hearing with the DMV if you wish to contest the suspension of your California driving privileges.  In addition, if your state is a party to the Interstate Drivers’ License Compact, the California DMV will inform the DMV in your state of the arrest, and in the event of conviction, your home state will impose its own DMV penalties within that state.

This means that even though you are an out of state driver, a DUI conviction in California can carry with it serious repercussions including

These repercussions will follow you back to your own state and you will face repercussions there as well. The severity of the consequences and the complexity of dealing with criminal matters across state lines make it imperative to contact a California DUI lawyer for support.

If this is not your first DUI conviction, the same rules still apply to out of state drivers as in state drivers.  See the sections on 1st, 2nd DUI, and 3rd DUI offenses for more information on how this will impact you as an out of state driver.

Out of State Drivers FAQs

1. Will a DUI affect my driving privileges in my home state?

Through an agreement called the Interstate Drivers’ License Compact, California is one of 45 states that shares information with other states regarding serious driving offenses such as an arrest and conviction for a DUI.  The only states that are not a party to the Interstate Drivers’ License Compact are Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, Tennessee, and Wisconsin.

2. If I live in California, but still have an out of state drivers’ license, will I be considered an out of state driver?

Yes.  This means both that the arresting officer cannot confiscate your license and that the issuing state will be notified of the arrest if a member of the Interstate Drivers’ License Compact.  However, it is likely

3. I don’t live in California and cannot remain in the state for the proceedings; do I have to attend the administrative DMV hearing or the court hearings?

In most misdemeanor DUI cases, you may waive appearance and have your attorney appear in court on your behalf.  This is a strong benefit for out of state drivers who are unable to remain in the state throughout the proceedings.  It is important in this case to hire a local California dui firm, such as the Aizman Law Firm, who are knowledgeable in the out of state rules involved in the DUI process.  Generally, for a felony the person charged must be in attendance at all hearings but depending on your previous record, your lawyer may be able to negotiate with the court regarding your absence.

4. If I live in a state a great distance from California, how long until my home state takes its own action regarding my DUI?

The Order of Suspension revokes only your driving privileges in California, though be aware that your home state will likely be notified that you were arrested for a DUI in California.  Your home state may take immediate action or wait until the results of the criminal court trial in California.

5. Should I get a different attorney in my home state?

It is not necessary to get a separate lawyer to defend you in your home state if your arrest was in California.

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How We Can Help

If you have been arrested for a DUI and would like to learn more about what attorneys charge.

If you want to understand why its important to have an attorney represent you.

If you are ready to discuss a pending DUI case with an attorney contact the Aizman Law Firm at 818-351-9555 for a free confidential consultation.

Request A Free Consultation 818-351-9555 


  1. Cal. Veh. Code §§ 23152(a), 23153 []
  2. California Dept. of Motor Veh., Arrest for Driving Under the Influence General Information, []

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