Select your state


out of state

A previous DUI/DWI conviction in another state may be included as a previous conviction and elevate or enhance the charge for a subsequent DUI/DWI in the driver’s current state of residence—just as if the driver had been convicted of the previous DUI/DWI offense in the driver’s current state of residence.

Whether a previous DUI/DWI conviction in another state is included or stacked on a DUI/DWI charge in the driver’s current state of residence will depend on whether the prosecutor on the current charge becomes aware of the previous conviction. The prosecutor will often become aware of a previous conviction by searching the National Driver Register database—which may include information regarding a driver’s license suspension or revocation provided by the other state in which the driver previously lived and was convicted of DUI/DWI. And if a driver receives a DUI/DWI while visiting another state, the police will notify the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in both the state where the driver was charged with DUI/DWI and the state of the driver’s residence that issued the driver’s current license.

These laws vary from state to state and their application often includes some prosecutorial discretion on whether to include or stack a previous conviction for a DUI/DWI charge in another state on a current DUI/DWI charge in the driver’s state of residence. Some states include, calculate, or stack such a previous DUI/DWI conviction only when the law violated in the other state is sufficiently similar to the DUI/DWI law in the state where the current charge is pending.

In Texas, a previous DUI/DWI conviction from another state can be considered when determining the severity of a subsequent DUI/DWI charge in Texas. This means that if a person was convicted of a DUI/DWI in a different state, that conviction could potentially elevate the charges and penalties they face for a new DUI/DWI offense in Texas. The Texas Penal Code allows for previous convictions, including those from other states, to enhance the punishment for a current offense if the elements of the offense are substantially similar to the Texas offense. Prosecutors may become aware of prior out-of-state convictions through the National Driver Register database or through notification from law enforcement agencies in the state where the offense occurred. However, the decision to include a previous out-of-state DUI/DWI conviction in the current charge is subject to prosecutorial discretion and the specific facts of the case. It is important to note that the laws and practices regarding the consideration of out-of-state DUI/DWI convictions can vary and are subject to change.

Legal articles related to this topic