Winter is one of the best seasons for traveling around the country and visiting friends and family-teens and college students are celebrating their holiday breaks, there are several long weekends that many people have off from work, and the snowy weather is the perfect backdrop for driving around, exploring the beautiful winter scenery and having a relaxing weekend away from home.

The winter season is also one of the most popular times for traveling because of all of the fun events that occur during this time of year: Holiday parties, New Years Eve, weekends at the cabin, etc. These away-from-home events are a great chance to grab a drink with long lost companions and really relax away from the stress and trouble of work and school.

However, while exploring a new state can be a fun winter event, it can be dangerous for those who are unfamiliar with their surroundings. Trying to navigate your way through strange streets, roads and highways can be difficult, especially if you have had a few drinks. Unfortunately, this is how many people end up getting pulled over and charged with a DWI.

So, what happens if you are charged for driving while intoxicated (DWI) and you are in a different state? First, it is important that you get all of the information that you can about your charge, then contact an experienced DWI lawyer to assist you with your case. Until then, here is some basic information about out-of-state DWI’s that will help you get a better understanding about what may happen:

Will They Alert Your State?

Most states have reciprocity laws and procedures which means that they have decided to share pertinent information about traffic violation convictions with the licensing state of the driver who received the ticket. This can happen with anything from a speeding ticket all the way to a DWI charge.

These main agreements are the Drivers License Company (DLC) and the Non-Resident Violator Compact (NRVC). The only states that do not participate in either of these reciprocal agreements are Michigan and Wisconsin.

However, whether or not your state is part of the DLC or the NRVC, they will still have to report certain information to the National Driver Register (NDR), such as a revoked or suspended license. Therefore, if you have been convicted of a serious traffic violation like a DWI, your licensing state will be able to see that you were convicted of this major offense.

Will It Affect Your License?

While no one but your own state can suspend your driver’s license, another state can and will suspend your driving privileges in the state you were pulled over in. They will also report your arrest to your licensing state, who will most likely impose their own suspension of your driver’s license.

Therefore, a DWI charge in another state will likely be sent to your own state’s DMV and, in turn, will affect your license just the same as if you had received the charge in your home state.

What Should You Do If You Receive An Out-Of-State DWI?

If you are driving out of state and you receive a ticket for a DWI, the most important thing that you can do is to avoid conviction at all costs. Therefore, the smartest move that you can make is to contact an experienced DWI lawyer who specializes in DWI defense and has an extensive background in drunk driving cases.

As long as you make smart choices about your next steps, you may be able to expunge (completely remove) your DWI charge from your record, or even greatly reduce the damage that a DWI charge can bring to your personal life. However, the best hope you have of doing this is to fight alongside a lawyer who has experience and success at fighting a DWI.