How an Out of State DWI Can Affect Your Texas License
Each state maintains a department or agency that oversees the driving privileges of state residents. The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) holds that role in the lone star state. The DPS even handles Texas DWI license suspensions and could take similar actions against your license if you receive an out of state DWI or DUI.
An Interstate Agreement
The Interstate Driver License Compact (DLC) facilitates record sharing between states that are members of the compact, including Texas. This means, essentially, that another state’s licensing agency could notify the Texas DPS of a DWI conviction you picked up while traveling in another state. And, even if you received a conviction in another state, the DPS can still treat that offense as one you committed while in Texas.
One Driving Record
The DLC, however, does not dictate when and how a conviction in another state can affect your Texas license. All it does is make it easy for state licensing agencies to share information about convictions and suspensions. It operates under the principle of “one driver, one license, one record” even though driver licenses are state-issued.
It’s important to know that the Texas DPS will only suspend your license for an out of state conviction if your offense would have been illegal in the State of Texas. The specific law you broke must be equivalent to the law in Texas. For example, if you received a traffic ticket in California for an offense that was not illegal in Texas, the ticket would not automatically be transferred to your Texas driving record.
All states have DWI/DUI laws and share the same BAC (blood alcohol concentration) threshold of .08%. So, if you are convicted of a DWI in New Mexico and had a BAC of .08%, through the DLC, the Texas DPS could suspend your Texas driver’s license.
Underage DUI laws, however, vary from state to state. Texas is a zero-tolerance state, which means a minor caught driving with any traceable amount of alcohol in his or her blood could face DUI charges. Some states exercise more leniency for minors and require a BAC of .02% or higher for underage DUIs.
An out of state DWI could prompt the DPS to suspend your Texas driver’s license if the law you broke is equivalent to the law in Texas. Unfortunately, because Texas is a zero-tolerance state for minors, any out of state minor conviction of DUI is likely to affect your Texas license.
When in doubt about how an out of state DWI/DUI conviction could affect your Texas driving record and license, speak with a Dallas-Fort Worth DWI/DUI defense attorney about the consequences you could face back home. An attorney can explain what could happen to your license and potentially help you fight your suspension.
If you’re facing DWI/DUI charges and live in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys will advise you on the best course of action to handle your case. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.