I Got a DUI In Texas and My License Was Suspended. Can I Still Drive in Georgia?

Even though Georgia isn’t a signatory to the Driver License Compact (DLC), that doesn’t mean that getting your license suspended in one state won’t have repercussions back home. Georgia still has laws on the books that will address your out-of-state license suspension. In most cases, you’ll also forfeit your driving privileges in the Peach State. However, there might be some exceptions to this rule.

What is the Driver License Compact?

Every state has its own set of rules and laws. Whenever you travel outside of Georgia, you’ll have to comply with the laws of the state in which you’re traveling. This includes state and local traffic laws. These laws are enacted for public safety reasons. When you violate a traffic law in Georgia, you can get a ticket, points added to your license, or even lose the privilege of driving for a period of time.

The Driver License Compact aims to make it so that all traffic violations – no matter where they occur – are attached to your driver’s license. In other words, getting a ticket or cited for a DUI in one state will have an impact on your Georgia driver’s license.

To date, 45 states are members of the DLC. Georgia is not one of those 45 states. Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Michigan, and Tennessee are not members, either. This doesn’t mean that these states will never report a traffic violation to your home state.

It just means that these states would rather have their own state laws dictate how and when a traffic violation should be relayed to another state. In serious cases, including DUIs, states will almost always report that to the state that issued the offending driver’s license.

Georgia Will Suspend Your Drivers License

Let’s say you took a road trip to Austin, Texas. One night, after an evening out at the bars, you get into a car accident. A Texas trooper thinks that you’ve been drinking. A breathalyzer showed that your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was slightly above the legal limit, and you were promptly arrested for DUI. The state of Texas suspended your license.

Can you still drive when you get back home? No. First, you won’t be able to drive back home. You’ll have to make alternative arrangements. Your license suspension will effective immediately.

When you do make it back to Atlanta, you still won’t be able to drive. How long will you be without your license? That depends. Before you can get your license, you’ll have to satisfy certain clearance procedures, as established by Georgia and the arresting state. At the very least, you’ll have to:

  • Satisfy a 120 day waiting period
  • Complete a substance abuse program approved by the state, and
  • Pay a license reinstatement fee.

Then you’ll have to present the state of Georgia with a letter of clearance from the state that yanked your license. In other words, you’ll have to prove to Georgia that Texas is okay with you back behind the wheel.

Georgia May Extend Limited Driving Privileges Before You Get Your License Back

What if you get back home and need to drive? Maybe you have to take your kids to the doctor regularly or your car is essential for work. If there are extenuating circumstances, the state may agree to issue a limited driving permit. This permit won’t allow you to drive wherever and whenever you want. You’d only be permitted to drive to specific locations for specific purposes at certain times. The permit would simply remove any hardships that not having a license would impose.

If the state does grant a restricted permit, you want to expect to be told to install an ignition interlock device (IID) in your car. This device will prevent you from turning your vehicle on if there’s any trace of alcohol on your breath. IIDs are expensive to install and maintain, so this option won’t be cheap. However, it can allow you to travel, as necessary, while your license is still suspended.