International Drivers Licenses in DUI Cases
There is a common misconception that if you get a DUI and lose your license, you are still allowed to drive with an “international drivers license.” Be very careful.
If you see a website offering to sell you an international license to avoid a suspension for DUI in the United States, make sure you check with your DWI lawyer before you even think about trying it. Our experience is that these are scams. Here’s why:
If you get a DUI in a state, say Arizona, for example, Arizona will suspend your driving privilege in Arizona. It does not matter that you are from Washington State, or that you have a California drivers license. Arizona will still suspend your Arizona privileges. That means that you could legally drive from through California to the Arizona border (presuming that your CA driving privilege is valid), but if you drove into Arizona you would be breaking the law.
You could exchange your CA license for an Oregon driver’s license, and you would still not be allowed to drive in Arizona until AZ reinstated your AZ driving privilege.
The important concept here is to separate the “drivers’ license” from the “driving privilege.” A state only has the ability to revoke your driving privilege in that state, unless your license happens to be from that state. (If your license is from another state, your home state may still revoke your license because of the motor vehicle compact).
Following this line of reasoning, an international drivers license, even if valid in another country, does not reinstate your driving privilege in the state where you got a DUI.
Again, use extreme caution and always follow the advice of your DUI attorney.