Most states have comparable DUI laws. Specifically, a state must typically prove that a driver was operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or with a blood-alcohol level of .08% in order to convict the driver of a DUI offense. Despite the similarities in state DUI laws, many states do not recognize out-of-state DUI convictions or have not clearly defined how such convictions should be treated. Recently, however, Kansas and other states have expressly stated that the courts can consider DUI convictions that occur in other states as prior DUI offenses in certain circumstances. If you are accused of a DUI offense in Illinois and were previously convicted of DUI in another state, it is smart to meet with an Illinois DUI defense attorney to assess what penalties you may face if convicted.
Kansas Law Regarding Out of State DUI Convictions
Recently, the Kansas Supreme Court expressly granted trial courts the authority to view previous DUI convictions in Missouri as comparable to the Kansas law. The decision was handed down in a DUI case on appeal from the district court, in which the pertinent issue was whether the defendant, who had two prior DUI convictions in Missouri, should be charged with a felony DUI offense in Kansas.
The court clarified that not all DUI convictions that arise out of the laws of other states should be considered prior DUI convictions for the purposes of DUI prosecution. Instead, the court cautioned that the ruling was limited to DUI convictions for offenses that are comparable to the crime described in the Kansas DUI law. Continue reading →