Legislature(1993 - 1994)

04/14/1993 01:00 PM JUD

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
  HB 28:  PENALTY FOR PROVIDING ALCOHOL TO A MINOR                             
  Number 023                                                                   
  COMMITTEE, called the members' attention to a draft                          
  committee substitute for HB 28, dated April 1, 1993.  She                    
  noted that a subcommittee, chaired by Representative Kott,                   
  had met to discuss HB 28, and stated that the sponsor,                       
  Representative Bill Williams, concurred with the                             
  subcommittee's recommendations incorporated in the draft                     
  committee substitute.                                                        
  MS. HORETSKI stated that new language appeared on page 1,                    
  lines 6-10 of the draft committee substitute.  She mentioned                 
  that under existing law, it was a misdemeanor crime to                       
  provide alcohol to a minor.  The original HB 28 made all                     
  such offenses class C felonies, she noted.  However, the                     
  draft committee substitute made providing alcohol to a minor                 
  a class C felony only if the provider had been previously                    
  convicted of that same offense within the preceding five                     
  MS. HORETSKI commented that new language also appeared on                    
  page 2, in sections 3 and 4.  Under existing law, she said,                  
  liquor establishments had to post warning signs regarding                    
  drinking alcohol during pregnancy.  New language in HB 28                    
  required liquor licensees to post a second sign, citing the                  
  penalties for providing alcohol to minors.  Those penalties                  
  included imprisonment for up to five years and a fine of up                  
  to $50,000.  She mentioned that those penalties would apply                  
  to second and subsequent offenses, but not to first                          
  Number 098                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE JOE GREEN asked Ms. Horetski to describe the                  
  penalties for first offenses.                                                
  Number 106                                                                   
  MS. HORETSKI replied that a first offender would be guilty                   
  of a class A misdemeanor.                                                    
  Number 123                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE JIM NORDLUND stated that he was a member of                   
  the subcommittee, although he had not been notified that the                 
  subcommittee was meeting.  But, he said, he was happy with                   
  the product which the subcommittee had created.  He called                   
  the draft committee substitute an improvement to a bill                      
  about which he still had concerns.                                           
  Number 135                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE PETE KOTT indicated that the subcommittee had                 
  met, and had notified Representative Nordlund's office of                    
  the meeting.  He mentioned that it had been almost                           
  impossible to get all of the subcommittee members to agree                   
  on a time at which to meet.  He added that the subcommittee                  
  had attempted to address the committee's concerns in the                     
  draft committee substitute for HB 28.                                        
  Number 156                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE JEANNETTE JAMES made a MOTION to ADOPT the                    
  draft committee substitute for HB 28, dated April 1, 1993.                   
  There being no objection, IT WAS SO ORDERED.                                 
  Number 160                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE CLIFF DAVIDSON commented that our society was                 
  becoming a society of signs.  He asked the Chairman to                       
  comment, from his perspective as a former police officer, on                 
  the deterrent effect of signs.                                               
  Number 173                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN BRIAN PORTER responded that during his career as a                  
  police officer, he had spent a great deal of time in bars.                   
  It was his impression that as long as there were some liquor                 
  handlers interested in providing alcohol to minors and some                  
  minors who were intent on purchasing alcohol, it would                       
  happen, regardless of whatever signs might be present.  He                   
  stated that posting signs would not hurt, however.                           
  Number 210                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE DAVIDSON indicated that the committee would                   
  be filling up the statute books with language that might or                  
  might not have an impact on the behavior of individuals.  He                 
  stated his opposition to moving HB 28 out of committee.                      
  Number 231                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE JAMES commented that it was difficult to                      
  measure the effect of signs.  She said that people often did                 
  not notice that a particular sign was posted, but when a                     
  person saw a sign, he or she knew that he or she had seen                    
  the sign before.  That, she said, counted for something.                     
  She supported posting signs.                                                 
  Number 252                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE KOTT echoed some of Representative Davidson's                 
  comments.  But, he said that if one sign saved one life,                     
  then it would be worth posting them in bars and liquor                       
  stores throughout the state.                                                 
  Number 276                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE NORDLUND reiterated his earlier statement                     
  that the committee substitute was a vast improvement over                    
  the original HB 28.  He indicated his belief that the                        
  legislature should fashion penalties appropriate to crimes.                  
  He did not know if a person would be any more deterred by                    
  the notion of spending five years in prison than he or she                   
  would be by the notion of spending one year in jail.                         
  Number 290                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE JAMES asked rhetorically what penalty would                   
  he deem appropriate in the event that an adult provided                      
  alcohol to a minor, and that intoxicated minor went out and                  
  killed himself?  She said that she would like to give judges                 
  the option of imposing a stiffer penalty in such a                           
  Number 305                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE DAVIDSON stated that society owed its                         
  children the opportunity to learn for themselves about self-                 
  discipline and personal responsibility.  He stated that                      
  instead of micro-managing Alaska's businesses, the                           
  legislature should focus its efforts on the children.  He                    
  commented that, as a parent, he found the more he said no,                   
  the more he had to say no.  He drew a parallel by asserting                  
  that the more signs society posted, the more signs society                   
  would have to post.                                                          
  Number 337                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN PORTER agreed with Representative Davidson's                        
  comments, except to say that some people would not respond                   
  to education and positive reinforcement, and therefore                       
  required criminal sanctions.  He mentioned the evolving role                 
  of smoking in our society.  Smoking became unpopular not                     
  because it was criminalized, he said, but because of a                       
  combination of elements which made smoking "uncool."  He                     
  noted that HB 28 might help prevent adults from providing                    
  alcohol to minors.                                                           
  Number 382                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE JAMES made a MOTION to MOVE the Judiciary                     
  Committee substitute for HB 28 out of committee, with                        
  individual recommendations.  There being no objection, IT                    
  WAS SO ORDERED.                                                              
  CHAIRMAN PORTER announced that the committee would take up                   
  HB 92 next.                                                                  

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