Out-Of-State DUI Conviction In Pennsylvania

In Wroblewski v. Commonwealth, 570 Pa. 249, 809 A.2d 247 (2002) the Supreme Court stated: Section 1586 directs that for purposes of Article IV, the Department shall treat reports of convictions from other states as being substantially similar to 75 Pa. C.S. 3731, the statutory provision that contains Pennsylvania's provisions relative to impaired driving. Section 1586 also rejects any distinction between the levels of impairment between the out-of-state offense and Pennsylvania's 3731. Section 1586 clearly broadens the scope of offenses that Pennsylvania would consider to be "substantially similar" to the offenses delineated in Article IV(a)(2). Under the terms of 1586, an out-of-state conviction for any level of impaired driving is punishable in Pennsylvania. In contrast, the Compact, as interpreted by Petrovick, required a level of impairment to a degree which rendered the operator "incapable of safely driving"; impairment which did not reach this level was not punishable. Additionally, Article I(b)(1) of the Compact states that the policy of each party state is to "promote compliance with the laws, ordinances and administrative rules and regulations relating to the operation of motor vehicles by their operators in each of the jurisdictions where such operators drive motor vehicles." We think it evident that in enacting 1586, the legislature sought to promote this policy by sanctioning those Pennsylvania-licensed drivers who violated the impairment laws of other party states, even if those other states' offenses had lower thresholds of impairment than 75 Pa. C.S. 3731. Thus, the fact that the New York offense permits conviction of a lower level of impairment than 75 Pa. C.S. 3731 does not preclude Appellant's reciprocal license suspension. 570 Pa. at 255, 809 A.2d at 251.