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I Am Arrested for DUI in Another State, How Does That Impact My KY Driver’s License?


If you live in Kentucky but get a DUI in another state, you’re in a complicated situation. This can be much more serious than getting charged for DUI in your hometown.

Unlike a speeding ticket, which you can pay through the mail or have an attorney fight on your behalf while you stay at home, a DUI charge requires that you show up in person for court appearances. This can involve additional trips to another state, lodging expenses, time away from work and family as you go through the court process, and the potential for jail time and other legal penalties.

Then, there is also the question of what is going to happen to your driver’s license in Kentucky once your DUI case is complete.

Will Kentucky Suspend My License After an Out of State DUI?

When you get arrested for DUI in another state, there’s a good chance that the consequences are going to follow you home to Kentucky and impact your driving privileges. This is because Kentucky is a member of two interstate agreements: The Driver’s License Compact (DLC) and the Non-Resident Violators Compact (NRVC). These are both information-sharing agreements regarding certain traffic infractions and the mutual enforcement of penalties across member states.

Members of the DLC are going to automatically share data regarding most driver infractions so that states can enforce each other’s license suspensions. For example, if you are convicted for DUI in Ohio and the sentence includes the suspension of your driver’s license, the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) will send that data to Kentucky. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet will then suspend your license according to the sentence.

The states that didn’t sign the DLC include Georgia, Tennessee, Michigan, Massachusetts, and Wisconsin. Even if you’re convicted for DUI in one of these states, Kentucky might still get the information and suspend your license.

The NRVC is another interstate agreement that compels members to suspend your license if you fail to comply with an out of state traffic infraction or pay a fine. So, if you’re arrested for DUI in Ohio but don’t show up to court, several things can happen.

First, Ohio authorities can issue a warrant for your arrest. Ohio BMV will also ask that the appropriate agency in Kentucky suspend your driver’s license. The states that are not members of this agreement are California, Alaska, Michigan, Montana, Oregon, and Wisconsin. Once again, just because a state isn’t a member doesn’t mean that there won’t be consequences at home for failing to follow up on DUI charges out of state.

Out of State Administrative License Suspensions

The two interstate agreements that we mentioned above will go into effect if you get convicted for DUI or fail to comply with the court process after an arrest in most U.S. states. But those same agreements don’t require action when your license is administratively suspended.

In some states, a license can be suspended by administrative rule after a DUI arrest. This is different from a license suspension that takes place due to a conviction.

For example, you are pulled over for DUI in North Carolina and refuse a breath test. A North Carolina law enforcement officer doesn’t have the authority to suspend your Kentucky driver’s license as a penalty. And Kentucky won’t administratively suspend your license for refusal to take the test. But, if you are convicted for DUI in North Carolina, Kentucky will honor any of the driver’s license suspension penalties imposed by that state’s criminal court.

Contact a Louisville DUI Attorney for an Out of State DUI

If you’re arrested for DUI outside of Kentucky, it’s vital that you comply with the authorities and that you hire an experienced DUI attorney to help protect your rights. Unfortunately, some of the penalties for DUI in other states are harsher than those imposed in Kentucky. But, even if your license is suspended due to an out-of-state DUI, you may be eligible for a hardship license.

If you need assistance with your DUI charge or would like more information about how a DUI conviction in another state will impact your Kentucky driver’s license, we can help. Contact the Ron Aslam Law Office at 502.581.1676 to schedule a consultation.