Court of Appeals Publishes Important DUI Case

In Kansas, a person can be convicted for DUI under K.S.A. 8-1567(a)(3) if “under the influence of alcohol to a degree that renders the person incapable of safely driving a vehicle.”  The penalty for a DUI depends on the number of prior convictions.  See K.S.A. 8-1567(b).  Prior convictions include convictions under any law of another state which would constitute a DUI conviction in Kansas.  See K.S.A. 8-1567(i).

In order for an out-of-state conviction to count as a prior DUI conviction under Kansas law, the prior out-of-state conviction must constitute a DUI conviction in Kansas.  In this case, the defendant had a prior conviction for DUI from Missouri.  

​After comparing the Missouri and Kansas statutes prohibiting driving while intoxicated or driving under the influence, the Court of Appeals concluded that it is possible that the defendant could have been convicted in Missouri for conduct that would not lead to a conviction for driving under the influence in Kansas. Therefore, the prior Missouri conviction does not qualify as a prior conviction under K.S.A. 2012 Supp. 8-1567(i). 

​Here's the great news.  Nebraska, Iowa, and Oklahoma have statutes similar to Missouri's.  This means, that in some circumstances, prior Nebraska, Iowa, and Oklahoma DUI convictions should not be used to enhance your current KS DUI sentence.  If you are charged with DUI, and have out of state priors, contact an attorney familiar with this case.  And, if you have already been sentenced, have an attorney familiar with motions to correct illegal sentences review your case.  The savings could be tremendous.