No matter where you go for vacation – whether it be to a Hawaii or Florida beach, or camping in Montana, or hiking in Vermont – you could find yourself facing charges for driving under the influence (DUI) if you drink and then get behind the wheel of your car. Unfortunately, out-of-state DUI charges can be very big problems, as they come with several important complications that make them more difficult than a DUI charge in your home state. Not only can they be very inconvenient for you to defend against, because they're so far from home, but they can also present an interesting, more pressing dilemma: How do you get home without a license?

The problem of getting back home to Georgia after you've lost your driver's license can be difficult to solve. You may be able to use public transportation or, if you're close enough, ask a huge favor and have a willing friend come and pick you up. If you're not so close, though, you may not have so many options. Getting caught driving without a license can lead to severe penalties.

What about flying?

While this will likely be your best option, especially if you're several states away, without a driver's license, you'll be pressed to use a different form of ID to get past airport security and onto the plane. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has requirements for the types of ID that they'll accept: ID has to have your photo as well as your name, date of birth, gender, an expiration date, and a tamper-resistant feature. Several kinds of common IDs satisfy these requirements:

  • Your U.S. or foreign passport, or your U.S. passport card,
  • Your Department of Homeland Security “Trusted Traveler” card, or an enhanced driver's license,
  • If you're a member of the military, your U.S. military ID,
  • A permanent resident or border crossing card,
  • A Native American tribal photo ID, or
  • An airline-issued ID.

If you have any of these forms of ID, bring them with you when you go to the airport, and you'll be fine. If you have one, but you left it at home, try to arrange it to be mailed to you before your flight leaves. Make sure to insure the mailing, because these are important documents!

If you don't have any of these IDs, then you'll be in a more difficult situation. Bring all of the ID documents that you can find and go to the airport well before your flight departs. Your airline carrier will try to work with TSA to get you on the flight.

Once home, you'll have to get your license back. Georgia requires that you get your license cleared both in Georgia, and in the state that you were arrested in. This means that you need to get a letter of clearance from the arresting state, saying that you can have your Georgia license reinstated. Georgia's clearance procedures require you to wait 120 days before presenting a Certificate of Completion from an approved substance abuse program, as well as the appropriate fee for reinstatement.

Out-of-state DUI charges are complicated, and inconvenient, but I'm here to help. Call me at (404) 816-4440 if you have any questions.