Texas DWI Law: Interstate Consequences of a DWI


When you are cited for driving while intoxicated, you face a number of consequences. For example, an automatic license suspension can go into effect. You also face criminal charges and may be convicted, fined and jailed. One common question that people have, however, is what happens if you are arrested for a DWI in a different state? After all, each state issues its own driver’s licenses, so many people aren’t sure how an out-of-state DWI will impact their license in their own state.

Our Texas DWI lawyers believe it is important that everyone is aware of the consequences of a DWI when visiting another state. Throughout the U.S., the states have come together to create reporting programs and to exchange information about DWI offenders. These cooperative efforts ensure that a person who drives drunk when he is out of his home state will still face consequences upon returning home. As such, it is just as important to avoid driving drunk out of town and just as essential to take an arrest seriously if it happens someplace other than the state where you live.

Interstate Consequences of a DWI

There are two different enforcement systems in place to ensure that a person convicted of a DWI faces consequences in his home state: the Driver’s License Compact (DLC) and the Nonresident Violator Compact (NRVC). Forty-five states are current members of the Compact, including Texas. A map of the states that participate in the DLC and NRVC can be found on the website of the National College for DUI Defense.

If you are convicted of a DWI, the Driver’s License Compact mandates that the state where you are convicted must relay the information about your offense to your home state. This means that if you are convicted anywhere outside of Texas, news of the conviction will reach Texas. When the home state receives information about your conviction, it takes action against your driver’s license according to its own rules. Once Texas learns of your conviction, therefore, your license will be suspended for the required length of time depending upon whether you have any previous DWI convictions.

The DMV in the state where your offense occurred may also suspend your right to drive within that state. This is not, however, the end of the consequences, and the suspension does affect your rights at home. In all 50 states, your suspension is entered into a registry of drivers with suspended licenses. When you apply for a new license or you try to renew your license, every state is required to check the registry. This means that no matter where you go, whether you go back to Texas or move to a different state entirely, your license suspension will be on the record and your license will be denied if your out-of-state suspension is active.

Because of these different rules, it is very important to take out-of-state DWI charges just as seriously as you would if you were arrested in your home state.

You need an experienced, aggressive Texas DWI lawyer.  Call 1-800-395-5951 today for your free consultation. More than 20 years experience.

Leave a Reply