Under the terms of Section 23550 of the California Vehicle Code, a driver convicted of DUI in Los Angeles three or more times within 10 years faces felony (rather than misdemeanor) DUI charges, which can result in anywhere from 16 months to four years in prison. Many states have similar laws. But what happens when those laws change?
Should the count of DUI convictions start when the law goes into effect, or does the lookback period extend all the way back 10 years prior to its implementation?
That question is playing out in Kentucky courtrooms today, according to an article on Louisville’s WDB.com website. Until the Kentucky State Legislature passed Senate Bill 56 earlier this year, the state’s lookback period for DUI charges had been five years. The new law extends that period to 10 ten years. But is it retroactive? Judges in different Kentucky counties have different interpretations, since the law did not specifically address that issue.