California is one of the strictest states on DUIs, and has imposed one of the toughest and severe penalties for out-of-state individuals who are charged with DUI in California. If you are a resident of another state and have been arrested for a DUI in California, the court will apply California laws to your case.

In most cases, the police does not have authority to confiscate your out-of-state driver’s license if you are arrested for DUI and your BAC level is .08% or higher. However, the arresting officer will issue you an order of suspension, which apprises you that your driving privileges in California have been suspended for 30 days. After the date you are arrested, there is a 10-day window that allows you to request a DMV hearing that provides you with the opportunity to fight your suspension.


If the state you are a resident of follows the Interstate Driver’s License Compact (IDLC), the California DMV will notify your state’s DMV of your DUI arrest. The IDLC requires that every driver only have one driving record because the single driving record enables various states to communicate about an individual’s DUI arrests and convictions. If you are convicted of a DUI, in addition to the penalties imposed on you by California, you may be subject to punishments by your state. An out-of-state resident arrested for a DUI in California may face the following penalties mandated by California:

  • Jail time, monetary fines, probation, and/ or community service
  • Required completion of drug and alcohol education programs
  • SR22 insurance and other insurance punishments
  • Criminal and arrest record
  • Required installation of an Ignition Interlock Device (IID)

Out-of-State DUI Frequently Asked Questions

How will an out-of-state DUI conviction affect my resident state’s driver’s license?

California is one of 45 states that participate in the Interstate Driver’s License Compact (IDLC). The states participating in the IDLC share information about any individuals that reside in their state regarding serious driving violations, and offenses, such as a DUI arrest or conviction. The states not participating in the IDLC are Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, Tennessee, and Wisconsin.

If I am an out-of-state resident and cannot return to California for court or my DMV hearing, can the Orange County DUI Attorney Law Firm help?
Yes. Usually, in misdemeanor cases, your Orange County DUI Attorney will attend court in your place. This can be very beneficial to those living in another state because a DUI case often involves numerous court appearances prior to when the court case begins. Also, hiring the Orange County DUI Attorney can save you time and money because it is common for your attorney to be able to appear on your behalf to the DMV hearing in person or handle the matter over the phone. If your DUI is brought as a felony, California requires that you are present at all court appearances alongside your attorney. In a felony case, it can be very advantageous for you to retain a DUI law firm that has handled many out-of-state DUI cases.

How long will it take for my home state to impose punishments against me for an out-of-state DUI?

Usually, the state you reside in will impose punishments immediately or it will wait for your criminal case to conclude in California. If you are issued an order of suspension, your driving privileges will be revoked in California and the state you reside in will be informed.