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New York DWAI & Enhancement of Florida DUI

In the context of a Florida DUI, a Florida appellate court has interpreted Florida law as allowing a conviction to a New York charge of driving while alcohol impaired (DWAI), section 1192 (1), to be used to enhance a Florida DUI. In addition, a conviction to a New York DWAI can be used for purposes of suspending a Florida driver's license. Both Florida cases that stand for these propositions came from the 4th District Court of Appeal (DCA).

Unfortunately in this writer's opinion, there are two Districts that agree with his logic. Due to a conflict of interest, the Florida driver's license case was assigned to the 3rd DCA. The 3rd DCA, acting as the 4th, upheld the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle's (DHSMV) decision to equate a New York DWAI to a Florida DUI for purposes of suspending a Florida driver's license. This means that the 3rd essentially agrees with the 4th. The lack of inter-district conflict binds trial courts in all of Florida's 67 counties.

How your out of state (not Florida) prior alcohol related traffic offense will be viewed by the Florida courts is a question of law. The first step is to compare the elements and the second to research the case law. However, all is not what it seems; do not be misinformed or proceed without having the issue researched independently. Click, call or fill out the form for a free consultation in your Florida DUI.

Dawson v. State 19 So. 3d 1001 (3d acting as 4th DCA 2009).

Dipietro v. State 992 So. 2d 880 (4th DCA 2008).

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