Driver's License Compact- Reciprocity with other states

Criminal Harrisburg PA Lawyer School Bus Mom Fox News

http://www.shafferengle.com 717-692-2345 Criminal defense attorney Jeff Engle of the Harrisburg PA law firm, Shaffer & Engle Law Offices, LLC talks about an unlawful entry case involving a mom coming to the aid of her 5 year old son.

Will my license suspension or points received in another state other than PA transfer to PA?

The Driver's License Compact is in effect in Pennsylvania and is entered into with all other jurisdictions legally joining therein. 75 Pa.C.S. § 1581. (statute printed below in full). Whether a "conviction" for violation of a sister state's law has occurred within the meaning of the Driver's License Compact is to be determined by reference to the law of the state whose law was violated.

** In addition to Pennsylvania, the following jurisdictions are signatories to the Compact: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wyoming. Although both Rhode Island and South Dakota have enacted legislation authorizing entry into the Compact, neither state had formally adopted the Compact. See discussion below- What is the Driver's Licensing Compact?

In determining whether a reported offense in a party state may properly serve as a basis for suspending a Pennsylvania licensee's operating privilege under the driving under the influence statute, the party state's offense need only be "substantially similar" to the corresponding section of the Vehicle Code in order to mandate a suspension under the Compact. However, in determining whether the Commonwealth can sanction a citizen pursuant to the Driver's License Compact for a substantially similar out-of-state conviction, the "substantial similarity" envisioned by the Compact does not call for a direct comparison of Pennsylvania's statute to the out-of-state statute, but, rather, requires determination of whether the two state statutes are of a substantially similar nature to the Compact. Thus, in determining substantial similarity for purposes of treating an out-of-state drunk driving conviction as a Pennsylvania conviction, the correct comparison is never between the blood alcohol levels described in the statutes, but between the description in the Driver's License Compact of drunk driving and the other state's law.

What is the Driver License Compact?

The Compact is an interstate agreement designed to promote highway safety and traffic law obedience by out-of- state motorists by requiring the suspension or revocation of their operating privilege under the laws of their home state upon conviction of a major vehicle law offense in a member jurisdiction.

To best understand how the Compact works, consider the plight of the Pennsylvania driver who is convicted for DUI in a Compact-member state. For purposes of imposing an operating privilege suspension, Pennsylvania is required to treat the conduct reported as if it had occurred within the Commonwealth. The result is that the offender is treated as if he or she violated the DUI statute. 75 Pa.C.S.A. § 3802. The result may be no suspension if the violator has no prior offenses as defined by 75 Pa.C.S.A. § 3806(b). A prior offense means a conviction, adjudication of delinquency, juvenile consent decree, acceptance of accelerated rehabilitative disposition or other form of preliminary disposition for a violation under Section 3802, former 75 Pa.C.S.A. § 3731 or a substantially similar offense in another state within 10 years before the present violation. Should the driver commit two additional major offenses within the requisite time period, that person will be deemed to be an habitual offender under Pennsylvania law and will suffer a five-year operating privilege revocation in accordance with 75 Pa.C.S.A. § 1542.