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How DUIs work for out-of-state drivers

Each U.S. state has its own specific rules on handling driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol and drug cases, and New York is no exception.

But what sort of penalties can you expect if you’re charged with DUI as an out-of-state driver in New York? Will you have to pay any fines? Do you face any prison sentences? Will the court suspend your license, and for how long?

DUI penalties for out-of-state drivers

If non-New York drivers get charged with DUI, they don’t face the usual mandatory fines and jail time when convicted. Instead, out-of-state drivers charged for their first offense have their licenses revoked for at least 90 days. If they’re under 21, the maximum revocation period can go up to a whole year.

Out-of-state drivers with any previous alcohol or drug violations will also face a license revocation period of up to 90 days if charged with DUI. However, the court may order longer terms if the driver has specific prior offenses on record. Meanwhile, non-New York drivers under 21 charged with DUI can have their licenses revoked for at least one year or until they reach 21.

Notably, New York law allows authorities to count any out-of-state convictions a driver may have for sentencing purposes. For instance, if you were convicted of a DUI in New Jersey and then again, a year later in New York, you would be charged in the Empire State as if you had committed a second DUI.

And while no mandatory fines are required for out-of-state drivers convicted of DUI, they’re still expected to pay for surcharges for alcohol-related misdemeanors ($260) and felonies (usually $400).

A license suspension may not sound too heavy of a penalty. Still, a DUI charge for an out-of-state driver can lead to a criminal conviction that can affect your employment opportunities, insurance rates and even your ability to take out a loan. You might want to challenge the criminal charge in court with the guidance and experience of a criminal defense attorney, who may be able to negotiate on your behalf for lighter penalties.