How Does a Prior DWI Conviction in Another State Affect My New York DWI?

Many people believe that an out-of-state DWI conviction has no repercussions in their home state of New York. In reality, New York is party to the Interstate Driver’s License Compact (IDLC), which requires each member to treat out-of-state convictions for drunk driving as if they had occurred in their own state. However, a conviction will not transfer if the prosecutor cannot establish that the out-of-state DUI offense was comparable to a similar offense in the driver’s home state. Having multiple DWI convictions on a person’s record can have far-reaching consequences, so if you were arrested in another state for driving under the influence, it is important to contact an experienced New York DWI attorney who can help you formulate a defense.

The Interstate Driver’s License Compact

Under the terms of the IDLC, member states are required to report a driver’s out-of-state conviction to that person’s licensing jurisdiction. The report must include specific information, including a description of the law that was violated. If that law has a New York equivalent, the defendant’s license will automatically be suspended in New York for at least 90 days. However, if the driver is under the age of 21 years old, the suspension will be increased to one year.

DWI's from Other States Affect Your Record in New York

New York DWI Charges

In New York, a DWI or DWAI is considered a misdemeanor and as such is punishable by up to one year in prison, a $1,000 fine, and a license suspension of at least six months. A second DWI or DWAI conviction within ten years, however, will be charged as an E felony. Felony convictions have much harsher repercussions, including a four year prison sentence, a $5,000 fine, and a one year license revocation.

Under the IDLC, prior out-of-state convictions for driving under the influence are considered prior convictions in New York as well as long as the offense would have qualified as a DWI or DWAI under state law. As a result, previous out-of-state convictions can be used to increase a charge from a misdemeanor to a felony in New York. This means that even if a person had never committed a prior DWI in New York, he or she could be charged with a felony as long as he or she was convicted of driving under the influence in another member state.

Contact a Dedicated New York DWI Attorney Today

DUI convictions are now an interstate matter, so it is important that those who are arrested for driving under the influence obtain the advice of an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Having professional legal guidance can make all the difference in the outcome of a case, so if you were arrested for an out-of-state DUI and also have a DUI case pending in New York, please call us at the Law Offices of George Vomvolakis at 212-682-0700 to set up a free case evaluation with a knowledgeable and compassionate DWI attorney.