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Investigative Report Highlights Inconsistent DUI Laws

Journalists from 10 on Your Side in Virginia recently aired an investigative segment that has sparked widespread interest over inconsistent DUI laws and out of state convictions. In the news piece, reporters profile the case of a 43-year-old Virginia woman who is currently facing criminal charges for her seventh DUI arrest. She has four previous convictions in Virginia (2), North Carolina, and Georgia.

Convictions in Different States

The problem with this particular repeat offender involves her arrests in multiple states. Although states across the country prohibit drunk driving and enforce a .08 BAC legal limit, DUI cases are often handled differently from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and DUI laws in general can differ significantly from state to state.

Cases involving out-of-state priors, for example, can pose unique problems. According to a Virginia prosecutor interviewed during the news piece, in order for any state to give weight to a prior DUI conviction in another state, DUI laws in each state must be substantially similar.

The Virginia supreme court found that North Carolina - where the woman received one of her convictions - did not have substantially similar DUI laws. This means that the prior conviction wouldn't be a factor during the guilt phase of a case. It could, however, be taken into account during sentencing.

Cases like those profiled by 10 on Your Side have prompted a larger conversation about the need to standardize DUI laws across all states. They claim this would ensure that multiple offenders are held fully accountable for their actions, and that they cannot escape an arrest with lesser penalties simply because they are charged for DUI in another state.

At the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc., our DUI lawyers are available to help clients who have been charged for DUI with prior convictions for out-of-state DUIs. Given the complexity of this situation, working with an experienced defense attorney can make the difference in the outcome of the case.

To discuss your case with a DUI Defense attorney from our firm, contact us today. We provide free and confidential case evaluations to clients throughout Orange County and surrounding areas.