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State v. Stanley

Court of Appeals of Kansas

March 1, 2017

State of Kansas, Appellee,
v.
Justin D. Stanley, Appellant.

         SYLLABUS BY THE COURT

         1.

         The penalty for driving under the influence of alcohol under Kansas law increases based on the number of the defendant's prior convictions. A prior conviction can be a conviction for a violation of another state's law that prohibits the acts that the Kansas driving under the influence law prohibits.

         2.

         Essentially, the Kansas DUI law criminalizes two acts: (1) operating or attempting to operate a vehicle with a blood- or breath-alcohol level of .08 or more; and (2) operating or attempting to operate a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs to a degree that renders the person incapable of safely driving the vehicle.

         3.

         If an out-of-state conviction is based on a statute that is broader than the Kansas statute, then the out-of-state conviction cannot be used for sentencing purposes under K.S.A. 2012 Supp. 8-1567(a)(1) and (3), because the same acts are not prohibited by both laws.

         4.

         The pertinent Missouri driving while intoxicated statute provides that a person commits the crime of driving while intoxicated if the driver operates a motor vehicle while in an intoxicated or drugged condition. A person is in an intoxicated condition when the driver is under the influence of alcohol, a controlled substance, or drug, or any combination thereof.

         5.

         The Kansas statute specifically requires that to be in violation, the influence of alcohol must be to a degree that renders the driver incapable of safely driving a vehicle (or that the person has a blood- or breath-alcohol concentration of .08 or more). That requirement is more stringent than the Missouri requirement of intoxication that in any manner impairs the ability of a person to operate an automobile. A driving impairment may not necessarily render a person incapable of safely driving a vehicle. It is clearly conceivable, then, that an act that would be considered driving while intoxicated in Missouri would not be driving under the influence in Kansas.

         Appeal from Johnson District Court; Kevin P. Moriarty, judge. Opinion filed April 1, 2016. Sentence vacated and remanded with directions.

          Adam D. Stolte, of Kansas Appellate Defender Office, for appellant.

          Steven J. Obermeier, senior deputy district attorney, Stephen M. Howe, district attorney, and Derek ...


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