Colorado is a popular tourist destination, so it’s common to see tourists throughout the state. Many of these tourists rent cars once they arrive or take their own vehicle to get here so they can get around easily. These tourists—just like the residents of Colorado—are prohibited from driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs. But unfortunately, many people think that the laws don’t apply to them when they are far away from home in a different state. What happens when out-of-state residents get DUIs in Colorado? Here’s what you should know:
Out-of-State Residents Face the Same Penalties
The penalties for DUI are the same for both residents and tourists. This means out-of-state residents will face jail time, probation, fines, community service, license suspension, and mandatory enrollment in an alcohol education course. Leaving the state—even if you plan on never returning—will not help you avoid these penalties.
Sentences Can Be Served in the Defendant’s Home State
Defendants are usually allowed to serve their sentences in their home state. For example, if a defendant who resides in another state is sentenced to probation, the court will usually allow him to complete the terms of probation in his home state.
It’s Best to Hire An Attorney
It’s not required that out-of-state DUI defendants hire criminal defense attorneys, but it’s strongly recommended. Criminal defense attorneys can defend you against the charges and fight for the best possible outcome in your case. Plus, hiring an attorney may make dealing with these criminal charges more convenient as well. This is because a criminal defense attorney may be able to appear in court on your behalf so you are not forced to travel to Colorado for every court date.
The Driver License Compact
Most states are part of the Driver License Compact, which is an agreement made between states to exchange information on drivers’ license suspensions. This means if an out-of-state resident’s license is suspended in Colorado because of a DUI, this information will be shared with his home state. As a result, the driver’s license will be suspended in his home state even though the crime was committed in Colorado. The driver will not regain driving privileges until he has completed the Colorado DMV’s requirements for reinstatement.
It’s important for out-of-state residents to understand that a DUI will follow them home. If you have been charged with DUI, contact Reisch Law Firm as soon as possible. Let our experienced criminal defense attorneys handle every aspect of your case so you don’t have to travel back to Colorado. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.