What happens if a Virginia driver gets a DUI in another state?

On Behalf of | Aug 21, 2023 | Drunk driving

All U.S. states have a law that prohibits drunk driving. Certain specifics may differ, such as the amount fined or whether the driver’s license is suspended after a first violation, but for the most part, a DUI conviction has the same penalties across different jurisdictions.

So, what happens if another state convicts a Virginia driver of DUI? Do the driver’s penalties follow them back home, or are there any modifications?

Carrying over license restrictions, ignition interlock requirements

Per Virginia law, anyone convicted of DUI or any similar offense in another state and whose license was revoked as a result may petition the general district court where they live to restore limited driving privileges. They may petition to put their license on probation and to have themselves assigned to complete an alcohol safety action program.

Upon joining an alcohol safety action program, the driver may be issued a restricted permit to operate a vehicle. However, the court still has the discretion to restrict where the driver may take their vehicle, whether they’re limited to only driving to work, to an alcohol rehabilitation program, to a health care provider or to taking their children to school.

The court can also require the driver to use an ignition interlock device on their vehicle as a requirement for a restricted license. The driver must rent and use the ignition interlock device for at least six months by law.

Penalties for violating the conditions

Suppose the driver fails to complete the alcohol safety action program or commits an alcohol-related violation during the six-month ignition interlock device period. In that case, the district court will dispose of the driver’s case and notify the commissioner of Virginia’s Department of Motor Vehicles, who then revokes the driver’s license.

Virginia drivers convicted of DUI in another state must still serve their probationary statuses back home. But this process isn’t automatic, and they’ll have to petition a local court to authorize it. Motorists going through this procedure might want to consult a legal adviser for guidance to avoid confusion.