Legislature(1993 - 1994)
02/14/1994 02:50 PM FIN
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HB 61 An Act relating to the offense of operating a motor vehicle, aircraft, or watercraft while intoxicated; and providing for an effective date. CS HB 61 (FIN) was reported out of Committee with "no recommendation" and with zero fiscal notes by the Department of Administration and the Department of Corrections and fiscal impact notes by the Department of Administration, Department of Public Safety and the Department of Law. HOUSE BILL 61 "An Act relating to the offense of operating a motor vehicle, aircraft, or watercraft while intoxicated; and providing for an effective date." JUANITA HENSLEY, CHIEF, DRIVER SERVICES, DIVISION OF MOTOR VEHICLES, DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY, stated that the Department of Public Safety supports the proposed legislation. She spoke to the number of fatal deaths in the State due to the use of alcohol while operating a motor vehicle. The Department of Public Safety supports all opportunities to reduce fatal accidents. REPRESENTATIVE JIM NORDLUND spoke to the fiscal note from the Department of Corrections and the effect on the general fund. MARGO KNUTH, ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL - CRIMINAL DIVISION, DEPARTMENT OF LAW, referenced Amendment #1 [Attachment #1]. She explained that the amendment would explain whether the breath test could implicate a person at the time the test was taken or extract back to the time at which the person was driving. Previously, the test was judged at the time the test was taken. She explained, the amendment would establish the standard at the time the breath test was taken and added that the amendment would provide clarification rather than change to the law. Representative Grussendorf MOVED to adopt Amendment #1, #8- LSO393\K.4, Ford, 2/04/94. There being NO OBJECTION, it was 2 adopted. Co-Chair Larson MOVED to adopt Amendment #2 making a change to Page 3, Line 3, deleting 1993 and inserting 1994. There being NO OBJECTION, it was adopted. Ms. Knuth explained Amendment #3, [Attachment #2], which would provide clarification of the breath test error margin. The chemical test has an inherent margin of error that would be equal to or less than one percent under the amendment. The standards of the statute no longer would be affected by the inherent margin of error. Co-Chair MacLean MOVED to adopt Amendment #3, #8- LSO0393\K.4, Ford, 2/04/94. Representative Brown OBJECTED to the motion and asked for further clarification on the 1% margin of error. Ms. Knuth explained the percentage of error in reference to the percentage of alcohol in the person's blood. Representative Brown asked how the amendment could be modified in order to be limited to "administrative revocation proceedings" only instead of both that and the criminal offense. Ms. Knuth provided the Committee with suggested language to the "findings" and "purposes" clause indicating legislative approval for the margin of error in "administrative proceedings". Ms. Knuth discussed the method of calculation used in the margin of error, stating that "errors" always operate to the defendants advantage. Representative Grussendorf OBJECTED to the motion to adopt Amendment #3. Representative Hanley pointed out that the amendment would provide a guaranteed .09% alcohol on the breath test and that no fraction of error had been taken into consideration. Co-Chair MacLean advised that the amendment would also revoke the defendant's drivers license at the .09% level. Ms. Knuth explained that the breath analyzing machine rarely miscalculates and is regularly calibrated. MEmbers discussed the effects of shifting the standards of the statute so it is not affected by the inherent margin or error. concern was expressed regarding the opportunity for an individual to falsely considered in violation of the legal limit. A roll call vote was taken on the MOTION to adopt Amendment IN FAVOR: Martin, Parnell, Therriault, Hanley, MacLean. 3 OPPOSED: Brown, Foster, Grussendorf, Larson. Representatives Navarre and Hoffman were not present for the vote. The MOTION PASSED (5-4). Representative Martin MOVED to report CS HB 61 (FIN) out of Committee with individual recommendations and with the accompanying fiscal notes. There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered. CS HB 61 (FIN) was reported out of Committee with "no recommendation" and with zero fiscal notes by the Department of Administration, the Department of Public Safety and the Department of Law and with fiscal impact notes by the Department of Administration and the Department of Corrections.