When a police officer arrests a driver for driving under the influence (DUI), they also start the process to suspend that person’s driver’s license. If a person fails a breath test, law enforcement will then serve the driver with a notice of suspension. Because Coeur d’Alene is a destination for travelers from out of state, often a person cited for DUI will not have a driver’s license issued by Idaho. This situation can cause confusion for people who get arrested for DUI in Idaho but who have a driver’s license from another state: is their license suspended or not? The answer can be complicated.
The Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) will issue a new Idaho driver’s license number to a person cited for DUI in the State of Idaho when that person does not already have an Idaho driver’s license. When ITD suspends driving privileges, that suspension is placed on file under the newly issued Idaho driver’s license number. ITD does not have the legal authority to directly suspend driving privileges issued by a state other than Idaho.
However, most states in the United States have entered into an agreement called the Driver License Compact. This compact is used to exchange information between a driver’s home state and the state where the driver was cited for DUI. Not all states have entered into this agreement, and member states respond differently to the information that is shared, but all member states of the compact are required to honor suspensions and revocations issued by any member state. Some states will do this by issuing their own administrative suspension of the person’s driving license. Other states simply make it a crime to drive in their state while a driver is suspended in another state.
If you have questions about the status of your driver’s license or any other questions about DUI defense, you should talk with an experienced criminal defense attorney. Contact us today!