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Name: People v. Crane
Case #: B190658
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 08/29/2006
Summary

Because defendant’s Colorado conviction for driving while impaired did not meet the standards set forth in Vehicle Code section 23626, that conviction could not be used as a prior conviction for purposes of enhancing defendant’s sentence under Vehicle Code section 23540. The defendant admitted his Colorado conviction but reserved the right to appeal the issue of whether it qualified as a prior conviction. Section 23626 provides that an out-of-state conviction qualifies as a conviction under California’s drunk driving and vehicular manslaughter statutes if the act would be a violation of those laws if committed in California. Because the People submitted no additional evidence regarding the Colorado offense, the court presumed that the prior conviction was for the least offense punishable under Colorado law. The defendant’s conviction was for driving while his ability was impaired, which is not necessarily a violation of section 23152, and thus the imposition of a sentence enhancement based on that conviction was improper.