The Driver License Compact and DUI/DWI Cases

The Driver License Compact and DUI/DWI Cases

The Driver License Compact (DLC) is an interstate agreement among the party states to share traffic safety information and to ensure that drivers who commit traffic and vehicle code violations in party states are sanctioned in the driver's home or licensing state. The major provisions of the DLC, which member states are committed to uphold and enforce, are:

  1. The "one driver license" concept, which requires the surrender of an out-of-state driver's license when application for a new license is made;
  2. The "one driver record" concept, which requires that a complete driver record be maintained in the driver's state of residence to determine driving eligibility in the home state, as well as for his nonresidence operator's privilege in other jurisdictions;
  3. The reporting of all traffic convictions and license suspension/revocations of out-of-state drivers to the home state licensing agency, as well as other appropriate information; and
  4. The assurance of uniform and predictable treatment of drivers by treating offenses committed in other states as though they have been committed in the home state.

Currently, 46 states and the District of Columbia are parties to the DLC. Only Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, Tennessee, and Wisconsin are not parties. However, these states may informally report violations to the home or licensing states.

Under Article III of the DLC, the convicting state is required to send the licensing state a conviction report that identifies the offender and the convicting court and describes the violation, the offender's plea, and any special findings by the authorities. Under Article IV of the DLC, titled "Effect of Conviction," the licensing/home state can treat the offense as if it had occurred within its borders and impose appropriate sanctions on the offender under the provisions of its own motor vehicle code.

Article IV of the DLC identifies five offenses which are subject to reporting, including, inter alia, driving a vehicle under the influence of alcohol. The violator's licensing/home state will record both the conviction information and the associated points. The number of points assessed is equal to the number that would have been assessed if the conviction occurred in the licensing state. The licensing state may also take other actions, such as suspending or revoking the violator's license, in accordance with its own law and not the law of the convicting state.

Copyright 2012 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc.