DONALD E. WILLIAMS, COMMISSIONER OF THE DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES, THE DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES, AND COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA v. ROGER EULIS HALE
Does substantial evidence in this record support the revocation order issued by the DMV?
Does the record establish that appellee was convicted of driving under the influence in Tennessee, and
Does Tennessee's statute prohibiting such conduct parallel and substantially conform to Code 18.2-266, the Virginia statute that prohibits driving under the influence.
Code 46.2-389, Virginia's revocation statute, provides, in pertinent part
that Commissioner shall forthwith revoke, and not thereafter reissue for one year, except as provided in 18.2-271 or 18.2-271.1, the driver's license, registration card, and license plates of any resident or nonresident on receiving a record of his conviction . . . of any of the following crimes, committed in violation of either a state law or a valid county, city, or town ordinance paralleling and substantially conforming to a like state law and to all changes and amendments of it: Thus, when the record establishes a valid out-of-state conviction, as it does in this case, we need only compare the elements of the two statutes. If the elements parallel and substantially conform, the requirements of Code 46.2-389 are satisfied, mandating an automatic license revocation by the DMV. The Tennessee statute prohibits "any person . . . to drive. . . any automobile . . . while under the influence of any intoxicant." Code 18.2-266 prohibits "any person to drive. . . any motor vehicle . . . (ii) while . . . under the influenceof alcohol, [or] (iii) . . . under the influence of any narcotic drug . . . to a degree which impairs his ability to drive or operate any motor vehicle . . . safely . . . ." Although the Tennessee statute does not contain the language, "impairs his ability to drive . . . safely," with respect to drug offenses, the Court found that proof under Tennessee's statute that a person is "under the influence of any intoxicant" is sufficiently comparable to proof under Code 18.2-266 that the person's ability to drive safely is impaired. Although the Tennessee statute does not contain the language, "impairs his ability to drive . . . safely," with respect to drug offenses, the court found that proof under Tennessee's statute that a person is "under theinfluence of any intoxicant" is sufficiently comparable to proof under Code 18.2-266 that the person's ability to drive safely is impaired. Another state's law regarding driving while under the influence of intoxicants or drugs need not substantially conform in every respect to Code 18.2-266." both statutes contain the "substantially conforming" requirement with respect to the use of convictions from other states.
The judgment of the trial court was reversed and the order of the DMV reinstated.
These summaries are provided by the SRIS Law Group. They represent the firm's unofficial views of the Justices' opinions. The original opinions should be consulted for their authoritative content.