California has implemented one of the country’s toughest and most rigorous penalties for those charged with a DUI regardless of whether you live in California or outside of the state. If you currently reside in another state and have been arrested in California for a DUI, California state laws will apply in your case.

If you are arrested in California with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% of higher and you reside outside of the state, the police officer does not have the authority in most cases to confiscate your driver’s license. However, he or she will give you an Order of Suspension, which notifies you that your privilege to drivein California will be suspended for 30 days. You will have 10 days from the date of arrest to schedule a DMV hearing and challenge the suspension (see DMV Hearings for more information).


If the state in which you reside adheres the the Interstate Drivers License Compact (IDLC), the California DMV will inform you state’s DMV of your arrest. The IDLC maintains that every driver has a single driving record so states report DUI arrests and convictions to one another. In the event that you are convicted, you may face further penalties from your state. California law may mandate a number of the following penalties if you are arrested for an out-of-state DUI:

-     Heavy fines, jail time, probation and/or community service

-     Court-mandated drug and alcohol treatment programs

-     SR22 Insurance and other insurance penalties

-     A criminal and arrest record

-     The installation of an Ignition Interlock Device (IID)

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding An Out-Of-State Dui

How will a DUI in California affect my license in the state I reside in?

California is one of 45 states participating in the Interstate Drivers License Compact (IDLC)These states share information pertaining to serious driving violations and offenses, including arrest and conviction for a DUI. Currently, only Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, Tennessee, and Wisconsin are not part of the IDLC.

If I live outside California and cannot come back for court proceedings or my DMV hearing, can San Diego DUI Attorney help?

Yes. In most misdemeanor cases, your attorney at San Diego DUI Attorney will appear in court on your behalf. This is a tremendous benefit for those who live outside of California, especially because there are often several court appearances that occur before the court case begins. In addition, your attorney can appear in person or by phone at your DMV hearing as well, saving you the time and money related to traveling to California for these proceedings. In most felony cases, however, California law requires you to be present at all court proceedings along with your attorney. In these cases, it is incredibly valuable to hire a local California DUI firm that has experience in out-of-state cases.

If I live in another state, how long before my home state takes action regarding my DUI?

In most cases, your home state will either take immediate action or it may delay action until the completion of the California criminal court results. If you received an Order of Suspension, your privilege to drive in California will be revoked and your home state will be informed of your arrest.