Legislature(2005 - 2006)HOUSE FINANCE 519
03/14/2006 01:30 PM FINANCE
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HOUSE BILL NO. 190 "An Act relating to certain licenses for the sale, distribution, or manufacture of tobacco products; relating to tobacco taxes and sales and cigarette tax stamps; relating to provisions making certain cigarettes contraband and subject to seizure and forfeiture; relating to certain crimes, penalties, and interest concerning tobacco taxes and sales; relating to notification regarding a cigarette manufacturer's noncompliance with the tobacco product Master Settlement Agreement or related statutory provisions and to confiscation of the affected cigarettes; and providing for an effective date." Representative Foster MOVED to ADOPT the work draft for HB 190, labeled 24-LS0617\S, Luckhaupt, 3/10/06. There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered. 2:42:39 PM REPRESENTATIVE HARRY CRAWFORD, sponsor, spoke strongly in support of HB 190 because of its potential to save so many lives. He shared a personal story about a car accident involving his wife and a repeat offender drunk driver. He emphasized that this bill focuses on prevention, rather than punishment. As a matter of routine, a judge will issue an order for the defendant not to buy or consume alcohol, or enter a licensed establishment. Many offenders immediately purchase alcohol upon their release. He related that he has borrowed language from other previous bills to draft this bill, which would provide for a physical display on state issued ID's if a person has been prohibited from purchasing alcohol by a court. It also allows for a civil penalty, paid to the licensee if a person restricted from purchasing alcohol is on their premises. Representative Crawford acknowledged that "change" is always difficult. There are many amendments that were incorporated into the committee substitute. 2:48:22 PM Representative Crawford provided a sectional analysis of HB 190 (copy on file.) Section 1 amends AS 04.16 by adding a new section that provides that a person who purchases alcohol may not enter or remain on licensed premises, provides a civil remedy for licensees against persons who violate this section. Section 2 amends AS 04.16 by adding a new section that the purchasing of alcoholic beverages by a person of legal age is a privilege that can be revoked for the conviction of a crime or as a condition of probation or parole. Section 3 provides a conforming amendment to Section 2. Section 4 amends AS 28.15.111(a) by requiring that drivers' licenses must be designed to allow the license to be electronically read so as to display whether a person has privilege to purchase alcoholic beverages under AS 04.16.160. New Section 5 requires DMV to cancel and re-issue a marked license if an individual's privilege to purchase alcohol has been revoked under Section 2 of HB 190. New Section 6 requires the surrender of a license when an individual has been ordered not to consume alcohol and establishes the obligation of the court and the Department of Corrections to notify DMV when an order is issued. New Section 7 permits DMV to establish a fee for issuing the marked licenses established by HB 190. Representative Crawford offered to answer questions of the committee. 2:51:57 PM DUANE BANNOCK, DIRECTOR, DIVISION OF MOTOR VEHICLES, DEPARTMENT OF ADMINISTRATION, noted appreciation for the work done on this legislation. He said DMV recognizes the trouble that drunk driving has caused Alaskans. He reminded members about previous legislation addressing deaths and accidents involving younger drivers. He apologized to the committee for the submission of an indeterminate fiscal note. The DMV has not been able to get a grip on the number of persons that would be affected by passage of the legislation. The Division does not know how much it will cost to develop an accurate real time exchange between the Court System and the Department of Corrections. There is no direct link between the Department of Corrections and DMV. He stressed the worthwhile goal of the legislation. 2:56:07 PM Mr. Bannock questioned the tie-in between the bill and drinking while driving. He asked how the tragic story could change for drinking while driving as a result of the passage of this bill. Co-Chair Meyer asked how the courts and other departments could link up to see that the driver's licenses are marked. Mr. Bannock replied that court-ordered revocations are usually sent by mail. The systems are not intra-agency connected. In the future, the agencies would like to have that type of system for intra-agency communication. The state is millions of dollars away from such a system. 2:59:05 PM Co-Chair Meyer posed a hypothetical situation involving the transfer of information. Mr. Bannock acknowledged that his example was correct, and added that there remains an open end in the circuit concerning the vendor selling the alcohol. Representative Kerttula assumed that the court system could relay that information by email. Mr. Bannock replied that under the bill, Section 6, addresses that. He agreed that email would be the most efficient way at this time, but is not the cure-all of the overall purpose of the bill. 3:01:34 PM Representative Crawford stated that even he is capable of emailing. He said he believes that Mr. Bannock's assessment that this would cost millions of dollars was creating a "road-block". He disagreed with Mr. Bannock's opinion. There are financial incentives associated with the legislation. He emphasized that the state must do something to interrupt the current situation. 3:03:57 PM Co-Chair Meyer asked about the constitutionality of labeling the ID of a person for drinking concerns. ANNE CARPENETI, ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL, LEGAL SERVICES SECTION-JUNEAU, CRIMINAL DIVISION, DEPARTMENT OF LAW, replied that it could raise constitutional issues. She thought there would be ways to get information without carrying a "scarlet letter" for that person. Co-Chair Meyer suggested it could impact DMV. Ms. Carpeneti thought that there may have to be a bar code reader involved. Co-Chair Meyer commented on the financial incentive to check the identification. Ms. Carpeneti responded that the current drafting would not allow for buying or drinking alcohol on the premise. Representative Stoltze asked if the consequences would apply only to those that who commit an offense after the passage of the bill. Ms. Carpeneti suggested adding an applicability section to the bill to clarify that. Representative Stoltze voiced concern with the registration of sex offenders previous to the passage of the sex offender bill. If that logic was followed in this legislation, there could be problems. Ms. Carpeneti advised that generally criminal statutes apply into the future, not the past. Representative Stoltze commented that there would be no "looking back" at offenses. Ms. Carpeneti discussed how the application works post facto and said it could be applied as a condition of parole. 3:10:43 PM Co-Chair Meyer noted that when a person does buy alcohol, any ID is ok to use. Ms. Carpeneti agreed. Representative Crawford pointed out that the bill addresses both the ID and driver's license. Ms. Carpeneti added that it does not mention a passport. Representative Stoltze suggesting looking a list of all possible ID's. Ms. Carpeneti said a person could get around it by using another form of ID. Co-Chair Meyer implied that a habitual offender would try to get around the law. 3:12:58 PM Representative Crawford noted that the bill is not perfect. He said he did not want to prohibit a person with an out-of- state license or an ID from another country from buying alcohol. The bill is just trying to prohibit habitual offenders in Alaska; it is not trying to be all-inclusive. Co-Chair Meyer expressed a concern about loopholes. He asked if there is a way to educate owners of liquor establishments. DOUG GRIFFIN, DIRECTOR, ALCOHOL BEVERAGE CONTROL (ABC) BOARD, responded that Co-Chair Meyer is correct in saying that any kind of government issued ID, which would include a passport, military ID, or a driver's license from other states or territories could be used. Co-Chair Meyer asked for comments on the bill. Mr. Griffin said the removal of the requirement that everyone purchasing alcoholic beverages must show identification, removes the direct interest the ABC Board would have in this matter. He spoke of his board's concern about the abuse of alcohol. Co-Chair Meyer noted previous bills regarding this subject. He spoke of the success of those bills. He asked Mr. Griffin if businesses have taken advantage of civil lawsuits to sue persons who use a fake ID. Mr. Griffin said he does not know if they are taking the "civil action" step. He noted most come from Brown Jug and Chilkoot Charlie's. 3:18:36 PM Representative Kerttula pointed out that in Juneau when Co- Chair Meyer's bill on underage drinking passed, a lot of education related information went out. The programs were successful in rural areas due to this education. Mr. Griffin responded that there are differences between underage drinking and HB 190, which deals with the alcohol abuser. He agreed that we must take a multifaceted approach. 3:21:20 PM Co-Chair Chenault MOVED to ADOPT Amendment #1: Page 3, line 27 Following "license," delete "the person must obtain a new license that lists" and insert "when the person obtains a new license, the license must list" Page 4, line 2 Delete "the person must obtain a new license that lists" and insert "when the person obtains a new license, the license must list" Representative Stoltze OBJECTED for discussion purposes. Representative Crawford addressed the amendment. He stated that the language change was requested by DMV. Co-Chair Chenault asked for Mr. Duane Bannock's opinion. Duane Bannock stated that DMV concurs with the amendment. He summarized that when a person applies for a new license, then the new license must be marked. Representative Joule asked how the mark would be removed when the penalty ends. Representative Crawford replied that the day the penalty ends, a new license could be obtained. Representative Crawford shared that in Minnesota, a person's car license plate is marked and that is not unconstitutional. Co-Chair Meyer responded that he has no problem with that. He stated a concern about discrimination when trying to rent a car. Representative Crawford thought it would be up to the car rental company's discretion. He said he does not want to address that situation in this bill. Representative Stoltze REMOVED his OBJECTION to adopting Amendment #1. There being NO OBJECTION, Amendment #1 was adopted. 3:28:00 PM Co-Chair Meyer stated his intent to hold the bill due to the indeterminate fiscal note, and because he does not believe that the bill targets the intended person. Representative Crawford replied that the cost would be born by the offenders, not the state. The fiscal note must be indeterminate because the numbers of offenders are not known. He emphasized that it would not be a direct cost to the state. He addressed targeting the offender. He explained his intent to give tools to the people who are willing to help "end this carnage". He admitted that it is not a perfect bill, but he strongly asked for passage of the bill. Co-Chair Meyer suggested talking to Brown Jug about this bill. He said he is not sure licensed premises would agree to take this step. Representative Crawford reported that in his discussions with licensed establishments, he found offers of support. Representative Stoltze suggested finding a way to make offenders pay the cost. 3:33:05 PM Co-Chair Meyer said that a bar coding system could be used. Representative Crawford disagreed with that concept. He said he prefers a marking system. CSHB 190 (FIN) was heard and HELD in Committee for further consideration.