Legislature(1993 - 1994)

02/14/1994 02:50 PM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
  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.                                                                 

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