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Name: People v. Treadway
Case #: G038824
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 06/03/2008
Summary

The amendment to Vehicle Code section 23550 (driving under the influence with prior convictions) that increased the window for the date of the prior convictions from seven years to ten years does not constitute an ex post facto law. The prosecution alleged prior convictions to enhance defendant’s sentence for driving under the influence of alcohol. One of the prior convictions occurred more than seven years prior to appellant’s current 2005 driving under the influence, but less than ten years. In 2004, section 23550 was amended to extend the “look-back” period to ten years. The appellate court rejected appellant’s claim that this resulted in an ex post facto violation, noting that it is the law in effect at the time of commission of the current offense which controls. There is no constitutional bar preventing application of the statute to later offenses solely because the prior conviction which serves as a basis for enhancement was committed before the habitual offender statute was enacted. The crime a defendant is punished for is not the prior conviction, but the subsequent offense of which the prior conviction constitutes only one element. (See People v. Forrester (2007) 156 Cal.App.4th 1021 and People v. Sweet (1989) 207 Cal.App.3d 78.)