All states except for 5 (Massachusetts, Michigan, Wisconsin, Tennessee, and Georgia) are part of the Driver’s License Compact. The idea behind this is that there is one license, one record, for all of these states. Unfortunately, it is not always that simple. The idea for these states is to treat violations from out of the state as if they happened in the violator’s home state. However, legal statutes are not identical from state to state and there can be some legal wiggle room depending on how the law matches up between states. Even worse, the operator could potentially receive double the fine. If the charge is treated as if it happened in the violator’s home state, both states have the power to levy fines, as well as license reinstatement fees.
If you are over 21 years old and are convicted of an alcohol or drug related driving offense in another state (or even Ontario or Quebec), you could get your driver’s license suspended for at least 90 days. For non-alcohol/drug related driving offenses, New York does not record out of state violations, with the exception of criminal negligence, homicide, or assault with a motor vehicle that results in death.
In Massachusetts, the courts could indefinitely suspend a driver’s license after receiving notice of an out-of-state DUI charge until the driver’s ability to operate a motor vehicle has been restored in the state or jurisdiction in charge of the DUI case. Similarly, for other charges such as gross negligence, the operator will receive a comparable punishment, however, certain criteria may not be identical between Massachusetts and Vermont, which could lead to grounds for dismissal in Massachusetts.
Rhode Island could suspend your license if prosecutors can prove that you were convicted of a DUI, not just charged. However, there are very specific parameters for a DUI in Rhode Island that are not exactly the same as those in Vermont or other states, which could help the operator’s case in Rhode Island. The same rules apply for gross negligence cases.
New Jersey drivers could see their license suspended if convicted of DUI or gross negligence in another state. The state treats convictions from other states essentially the same as being convicted within the state, as long as the statutes have relatively comparable statutes.
Connecticut operates under very similar rules to New Jersey. If convicted in Vermont or another state of a DUI or gross negligence, Connecticut drivers could see their license suspended, as long as the parameters of conviction match up.
Upon notification from Vermont of a DUI, New Hampshire could suspend your license. This goes for other traffic violations as well. For a DUI/DWI, the suspension would be at least 9 months.
If convicted of a DUI in Vermont or other states, Maine will receive a notice of conviction. Once this notice is received, the operator’s license could be suspended based on their driving record in Maine. Additionally, gross negligence could also end in a suspended license depending on record and how the state statutes align.
It is important to understand your rights as an out of state driver if charged with a Vermont DUI. Understanding how a Vermont conviction can affect your out of state license is one of the most important pieces of navigating the Vermont criminal justice system in a way to ensure you receive the best, most well-informed path forward.