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With DUI, what happens in Virginia may not stay in Virginia

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. That's a tourism tagline nearly everyone has heard at some time. High on the same list is "Virginia is for Lovers." People from all over the United States come to this region of the mid-Atlantic to take in the history, be impressed by the naval might on display and vacation on the shores of the ocean and the Chesapeake.

Being in rest and relaxation mode is a good thing, but it can have its shortcomings. It's not uncommon for visitors to let loose more than they should. Arrests for driving under the influence and other traffic-related activities have a way of increasing the closer people get to the water. Unfortunately, the consequences of those violations don't just stay here. They can follow you home.

Virginia, the District of Columbia, and nearly every other state are participants in what is called the Driver License Compact. Nevada is a signatory, too. Under this agreement, the idea that what happens in one jurisdiction stays there does not apply. The theme that rules for compact members reads this way, "One Driver, One License, One Record."

What that means in practice is that if you receive a traffic violation in Virginia, DUI included, the information will be fed to your home state police. If you are convicted, the terms of the compact oblige your home state to treat the offense as if it had happened there. If there is an equivalent statute on the books in both states, the home state's penalties are applied. In some cases, if your home state has stiffer penalties, those could be imposed.

When you vacation, you want your memories of the trip to be good ones. A DUI charge is not an experience you want to recall. To put the issue to rest effectively, consult an experienced attorney.

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