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How do Montana’s DUI laws apply to out-of-state drivers?

On Behalf of | Mar 8, 2024 | Criminal Law |

Montana’s wide-open roads can be inviting, but out-of-state drivers should be cautious of local driving under the influence (DUI) laws to avoid legal trouble while traveling.

The state’s DUI laws are like those found in other jurisdictions across America. But how does a conviction in the Treasure State affect someone from out of town?

Consequences of a DUI for an out-of-state driver

If you’re an out-of-state driver arrested for DUI in Montana, you may face immediate penalties such as arrest and vehicle impoundment – the exact same penalties faced by local drivers. DUI charges can lead to fines, potential jail time at the county where you were arrested, and a driver’s license suspension.

License suspension penalties can follow you back

In addition, Montana will report your conviction back to your home state under the Interstate Driver’s License Compact. This means your home state could honor the penalties imposed on you, including your driver’s license suspension and any other restrictions placed.

To reinstate your driver’s license, a court may ask you to complete an alcohol treatment program. You must submit proof that you’ve completed the program to both Montana and your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles.

It can be intimidating to face DUI charges far from your home state. You may have to serve jail time in Montana, and your license suspension could follow you back home. However, you have the right to contest the charges against you. A legal professional experienced in DUI cases may be able to represent you in court and help you recognize your defense options.